||9th Annual Literary
Old Dominion University
October 6-9, 1986
Edna O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girls, published in 1960 received the Kingsley Amis Award and was released as a feature film. Her next two novels were centered on the same characters. Since the trilogy, O'Brien has published six more novels, four collections of stories, a book of nonfiction on her native Ireland, and several plays and screenplays. Her play, Virginia, starring Kate Nelligan, was produced by Joseph Papp in New York. Flesh and Blood is slated to open this year in Toronto. In 1984, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published A Fanatic Heart: The Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien. Writing on the recently released omnibus edition of O'Brien's first three novels (The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue), Village Voice critic Terrence Rafferty said, "The raptures here are in the rhythm of the prose, its seductive alternation of curses and explosive comedy and lyrical grief. Ireland may be a mother, but to get all the way back to it Edna O'Brien has to be a bit of the father as well: she knows that when life is at its frequent worst, there's nothing for it but getting drunk on words, rocking back and forth and singing all the songs you know."
Edna O'Brien will read on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. She will speak on Irish fiction on Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. [extracted from 1986 brochure]