Edna O'Brien is the author of The Country Girls Trilogy, THE LIGHT OF EVENING, SAINTS AND SINNERS, COUNTRY GIRL and other widely acclaimed books. Born and raised in the west of Ireland, she has lived in London for many years.
Vlad --- a stranger from Eastern Europe masquerading as a healer --- settles in a small Irish village where locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. When Vlad is arrested and his identity as a war criminal is revealed, Fidelma --- disgraced --- flees to England and seeks work among the other migrants displaced by wars and persecution. It is not until she confronts Vlad at the tribunal in The Hague, that her physical and emotional journey reaches its breathtaking climax.
As John Banville writes in his introduction to THE LOVE OBJECT, Edna O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time.” The 31 stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without. Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked, while others carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical.
When Edna O'Brien's first novel, THE COUNTRY GIRLS, was published in 1960, it so scandalized the O'Briens' local parish that the book was burned by its priest. O'Brien was undeterred and has since created a body of work that bears comparison with the best writing of the 20th century. COUNTRY GIRL brings us face-to-face with a life of high drama and contemplation.