Sunday 24 September 2017

Edna felt she had committed crime with book

Edna O'Brien paid a visit to her birthplace at Tuamgraney, Co Clare, during the Scarriff festival on Saturday
Edna O'Brien paid a visit to her birthplace at Tuamgraney, Co Clare, during the Scarriff festival on Saturday

Gordon Deegan

THE novelist Edna O'Brien has said she did not know what crime she had committed after hearing that the State had banned her debut novel.

Speaking during her first public interview in her native place, the 79-year-old author told an enraptured audience in east Clare that the banning of 'The Country Girls' 50 years earlier "was as if one had committed a crime and I did not know what the crime was".

Her frank treatment of sexuality in that and subsequent novels brought her into conflict with the Catholic Church, and was paramount in the decision by the Irish Censorship Board to ban the book, which was later critically lauded.

In Scarriff, as part of the town's annual harbour festival, Ms O'Brien also defended her novel 'In The Forest'.

Irish Independent

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