Monday, January 7, 2013

Pass Me The Butter

I've just finished Edna O Brien's fascinating memoir Country Girl, and am left as intrigued by what was omitted as by what was included - but perhaps I'm just nosey.

Thankfully the horrific banning and burning of her first book The Country Girls (1960) was before my time, instead it was well loved and much quoted when I was young, as in -

oh lady divine, will you pass me the wine?,  
oh lady supreme, will you pass me the cream? 
You bald-headed scutter, will you pass me the butter?” 

Does anyone else remember that rhyme? Or am I alone in my ancientness?!

Paula McGrath, in her excellent review-essay 'The Influence of Edna O'Brien' writes about how O'Brien has been perceived. 'O'Brien was notorious because she was a ground breaker.' Ground breaker she was, but though Edna O'Brien won the Frank O Connor short story award in 2011, (for Saints and Sinners), there have been no other accolades - and this for a writer of whom it has been said-

"...She changed the nature of Irish fiction; she brought the woman’s experience and sex and internal lives of those people on to the page, and she did it with style, and she made those concerns international."(Andrew O’Hagan.)


Janet E. Cameron said...

Check it out! Posted on the same day by another Novel Fair girl!

Is it something in the water?
(I've posted a link to this page on Jennifer's blog as well, hope you don't mind, eh.)

Anonymous said...

Edna O'Brien has always been lurking on my 'must get round to reading one day' list. Maybe one day is now?

Words A Day said...

there's synchronicity for you:)
dont mind at all thanks, enjoyed reading the post!

The Country Girls is a nice one to start on? If it turns out that day is now:)