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Pat Rogers

3 June 1982
The Samurai 
by Shusaku Endo, translated by Van C. Gessel.
Peter Owen, 272 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 7206 0559 8
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The Obedient Wife 
by Julia​ O’Faolain.
Allen Lane, 230 pp., £7.50, May 1982, 9780713914672
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Pinball 
by Jerzy Kosinski.
Joseph, 287 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 7181 2133 3
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Brother of the More Famous Jack 
by Barbara Trapido.
Gollancz, 218 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 575 03112 3
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... up with the daughter of a feckless hippie ménage across the way. Carla’s other neighbours are equally awful, whether they be shallow advice-mongers on local radio or self-dramatising actresses. Julia O’Faolain is good at rendering their excesses without falling into caricature. As for Carla, she is worried not just about reaching 40 but about reaching 37. When a neighbour’s child is hurt in a ...

Interview with Myself

Julia​ O’Faolain

23 June 1994
... My topics are exile, memory and the imagination, and I plan to approach them through a story which has been haunting me. It is an old one about a mermaid: one of those mythic creatures dreamed up by lonely sailors and fishermen who fancied that they had seen beautiful naked women sitting on rocks among the waves. Possibly what they really saw were albino seals gleaming in the moonlight. Maybe the sailors ...

Queen to King Four

Robert Taubman

19 June 1980
The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 245 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 9780224017909
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No Country For Young Men 
by Julia​ O’Faolain.
Allen Lane, 368 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 0 7139 1308 8
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The Girl Green as Elderflower 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 150 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 9780436497315
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The Sending 
by Geoffrey Household.
Joseph, 192 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 7181 1872 3
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... silenced by both religion and science. In another sense, the novel as a whole can be said to practice concealment, by the very fact of not being at all, on the surface, a gloomy one. A good part of Julia O’Faolain’s talent is for the vivid life of the scene: pub talk, or streams of consciousness indulging an Irish turn of phrase (‘It made Grainne feel useless and used up like a ruff of old ...

Daddy’s Girl

Anita Brookner

22 December 1983
Fathers: Reflections by Daughters 
edited by Ursula Owen.
Virago, 224 pp., £5.50, November 1983, 9780860683940
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... one is entirely absent because he dies before the writer is born, one is jealous of his daughter’s intellectual independence, one deserts his wife for another woman. Only Doris Lessing and Julia O’Faolain describe their fathers as distinct and separate entities, endowing them with the dimensions of characters in history, allowing them a proper dignity, yet ensuring that they remain ...
23 June 1994
Sean O’Faolain: A Life 
by Maurice Harmon.
Constable, 326 pp., £16.95, May 1994, 0 09 470140 7
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Vive Moi! An Autobiography 
by Sean O’Faolain.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 377 pp., £20, November 1993, 1 85619 376 4
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... between urbane snobbery and leftist dissent. That the snobbery persisted is confirmed by Maurice Harmon’s revelations about his attitudes to the education and marriages of his children, Stephen and Julia. Stephen is hardly mentioned in Vive Moi! and Harmon reveals O’Faolain’s frightful treatment of his son; his insistence that he should not mix with children from their village of Killiney ...

Diary

Anne Enright: Censorship in Ireland

21 March 2013
... cheap Catholic literature’, sought out and underlined offensive passages to make the board’s work easier. The furious energy of right-wing Catholic organisations was not to be doubted. In 1990, Julia Carlson wrote in her book Banned in Ireland that supplies in libraries and bookshops dwindled until the books available to the Irish reader consisted of religious works and those that celebrated ...

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