Books by Edna O’Brien

Edna O'Brien is the author of eighteen works of fiction, including DOWN BY THE RIVER, HOUSE OF SPLENDID ISOLATION, TIME AND TIDE, and LANTERN SLIDES,which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Her book about James Joyce was published in 1999 a


THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 29, 2016

"O'Brien's writing in this rich, wrenching book can be both lyrical and hard-edged, which suits a world where pain shared or a tincture of kindness can help ease the passage from losses."
An Irish town is touched by the war crimes in Sarajevo when an outsider sleeps with a local woman and she's driven by shame and brutality into exile. Read full book review >
THE LOVE OBJECT by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"With an introduction by John Banville and a dedication to Philip Roth, this collection positions O'Brien among the literary heavyweights, where it confirms she belongs."
A career's selection of stories to savor. Read full book review >
COUNTRY GIRL by Edna O’Brien
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 30, 2013

"Emotion and reflection contend for prominence with superficiality; the former win, but barely."
The octogenarian Irish novelist, playwright, poet, biographer (and more) revisits her rich and sometimes rowdy life. Read full book review >
BYRON IN LOVE by Edna O’Brien
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 2009

"An apt rendering of the life of a charismatic man whose smile Coleridge compared to 'the opening of the gate of Heaven.'"
A concise, humorous analysis of Lord Byron as archetypal lover and "embodiment of Everyman." Read full book review >
THE LIGHT OF EVENING by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2006

"Through the twists of blood ties, O'Brien explores the profound ambivalence of the mother-daughter relationship, but the land and the climate seem more fully developed as characters than do many of the one-dimensional humans."
A novel of powerful, complicated emotions and rapturous writing suffers from its plot's soap-opera sentimentality. Read full book review >
IN THE FOREST by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 29, 2002

"At once rich and chilling: one of O'Brien's darkest, most accomplished works in years."
O'Brien (Wild Decembers, 2001, etc.) offers a grimly fascinating portrait of a young Irish psychopath, delivered in a flat and unaffected prose reminiscent of a police dossier. Read full book review >
WILD DECEMBERS by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 4, 2000

"Proof again that in the hands of an artist, no plot is hackneyed, no emotion too obvious."
O'Brien (Down by the River, 1997, etc.) returns to rural Ireland for a tale of love, land feud, madness, and murder. Read full book review >
DOWN BY THE RIVER by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1997

"O'Brien's propagandistic tone and two-dimensional characterizations will bring her few if any new admirers."
Expatriate Irish writer O'Brien (House of Splendid Isolation, 1994, etc.) offers one of the most ferocious indictments of Gaelic life and culture since The Playboy of the Western World. Read full book review >
HOUSE OF SPLENDID ISOLATION by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1994

"No answers here, of course, but well worth reading as O'Brien's first concentrated treatment of the troubles—and the pain they visit on the Irish people."
Irish-born O'Brien (who lives in London and has written emotionally intense, mordantly funny novels and short story collections like A Fanatic Heart, 1984) turns her attention to the continuing troubles in her native land—``a beautiful tragic country to be born into''—contemplating it through the eyes and hearts of a handful of characters entangled in a violent moment. Read full book review >
TIME AND TIDE by Edna O’Brien
Released: May 1, 1992

"Not O'Brien's best."
Acclaimed Irish writer O'Brien (Lantern Slides, 1990, etc.) explores that ``great chasm'' between mothers and would-be mothers, with smotheringly unrelieved lyricism. Read full book review >