Edna O’Brien is an award-winning Irish author of novels, plays, and short stories, and the winner of Give a Book’s The Pleasure of Reading Prize, 2022.
I think of Bleak House, of Dickens, that master conjuror, who had the verve, the audacity, the genius to lift Inspector Bucket to the very highest tower of his imagination. It is not what we might have expected, but for Dickens, and all great writers, there are no boundaries.
The books I loved at an early age perhaps informed my more intense likings. Scores of women were drawn to the Bronte Sisters, to their shriven fates in that freezing parsonage in Haworth, where there remains on display their little slippers so that a visitor can easily see that their feet were a size three or four. Tiny creatures whose dreamings, which is to say their writings, blazed with passion and are saturate with tales of unrealised love, love that in its way is deathless, since it declares itself from beyond the grave.
Alternatively, and at the same time, there was Miss Jane Austen, with her crisp, sensible, unfettered approach—‘Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram.’
These are the authors, and dozens more, whose rooms have become part of my inner mythology, my life, and my solitude.
Thank you, Edna for recommending these authors.
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