Wednesday 17 January 2018

Christina Reihill: Pools of silence reflect visceral and harrowing violence

Christina Reihill has discovered what lies beneath the carefully managed persona of this haunting storyteller

PRICKLY: Edna O'Brien, grew up with an alcoholic father and had an unhappy marriage
to writer Ernest Gebler. O'Brien has
spoken of experiencing chilling violence in both relationships
PRICKLY: Edna O'Brien, grew up with an alcoholic father and had an unhappy marriage to writer Ernest Gebler. O'Brien has spoken of experiencing chilling violence in both relationships

Christina Reihill

When the interviewer on RTE's documentary on Edna O'Brien earlier last week asked her, "What is it that makes people so compelled by you?" he asked a long and begging question for me.



Over the years, as I tuned into every programme, article or interview on the grand dame of Irish literature, I convinced myself that she had tales to tell beyond the grave or enlightening insights for an author of her stature, but she never seemed to deliver on this promise.

As soon as I sensed her portentous tone and lecturing manner, I lost interest in what she was saying -- and yet I kept returning, hoping something, one day, would change.

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