Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nuala O' Faolain

passed away today. She was one of my favorite authors and an Egalitarian Bookworm Chick extraordinaire. Her memoir, Are You Somebody? is one of the most frank and vivid self-portraits I've ever read. It reads like fiction, and among all the tell-all books about sex, it stands out for its lyrical, unapologetic, treatment of her own sexuality and her life as a young bohemian writer and radio producer in Dublin and Oxford.

Her novel, My Dream of You, which I read while living in Galway, Ireland is also an electrifying read. It's about a middle-aged woman (clearly based on the author herself) researching a love affair during the potato famine who stumbles into her own affair with a married man. It intersperses the modern story with the 1848 one, and for those who are interested in Irish history as well as good, sexy, mysterious fiction, I couldn't recommend it more. O'Faolain's prose shows her to be a clear inheritor of the Joycean tradition of writing unashamedly about the human body, while also being able to pinpoint much of the longing within the Irish soul.

O'Faolain was also a badass feminist, leftist, and spiritual atheist. She was one of those writers whom I just loved as a person because her writing was so warm and loving. It's sad that she passed away relatively young, and I will treasure her prose always.

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