Edna O'Brien reads her memoir, from childhood in the faded grandeur of the big house.
The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controversial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety back home, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.
Born in 1930 into a strict Catholic family in rural County Clare, O'Brien rejected her background in search of literary life in Dublin, but found herself transported to London, unhappily married with two young children. The publication of The Country Girls brought her literary stardom in sixties London, but also notoriety back home, and a bitter end to her marriage. But along the way there were also encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans, as well as the inevitable regrets and sorrows.
In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginative insight of a poet, which gives her memoir, so beautifully and sometimes painfully remembered, a terrible poignancy.
In today's episode: childhood in the faded grandeur of the big house, and forbidden love.
Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.
Abridger: Miranda Davies
Producer: Justine Willett.