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The Little Red Chairs

Edna O’Brien

The BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls trilogy begins in August 2019.
Her stunning new novel Girl will be published by Faber in September 2019, available to pre-order now

Format
Hardback
ISBN
9780571316281
Date Published
29.10.2015
Delivery
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Summary

Ten years on from her last novel, Edna O’Brien reminds us why she is thought to be one of the great Irish writers of this and any generation.

When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this astonishing novel, Edna O’Brien charts the consequences of that fatal attraction.

The Little Red Chairs is a story about love, the artifice of evil, and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. A narrative which dares to travel deep into the darkness has produced a book of enormous emotional intelligence and courage. Written with a fierce lyricism and sensibility, The Little Red Chairs dares to suggest there is a way back to redemption and hope when great evil is done. Almost six decades on from her debut, Edna O’Brien has produced what may be her masterpiece in the novel form.

Critic Reviews

The great Edna O'Brien has written her masterpiece.

Philip Roth
Critic Reviews

An extraordinary triumph ... This is storytelling of the highest order, resounding with the empathy and authority we yearn for in fine writing ... Edna O'Brien is one of the greatest Irish writers, of this or any era.

Joseph O'Connor, Sunday Independent
Critic Reviews

Edna O'Brien has created a memorable work of art for our unsettled times ... Her prose is as lyrically arresting as ever, her vision as astute, and as delicate. The Little Red Chairs is notable for its interweaving of the near-mythical and the urgent present, and for its unflinching exploration of the complex and lasting effects of human brutality ... at once arduous and beautiful.

Claire Messud, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

O'Brien is a very gifted novelist ... There is much to think about in this rich, searching and enthralling book, a novel of ideas as well as emotions, and arguably one of the most interesting and ambitious ever written by an Irish author.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Irish Times
Critic Reviews

The product of an extraordinary talent ... a novel that leaves an indelible impression - gorgeously written and fiercely humane.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

Authoritative and engrossing ... filled with a narrative energy and aplomb ... O'Brien is among the most compellingly observant of present-day novelists.

Patricia Craig, Independent
EdnaO'Brien

Edna O’Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Arts Gold Medal, the Frank O’Connor Prize, the PEN/Nabokov Award For Achievement in International Literature, and the David Cohen Prize for Literature. In 2021, Edna O’Brien was awarded the French Ordre des Arts…

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