Download E-books Country Girl: A Memoir (Back Bay Readers' Pick) PDF

By Edna O'Brien

"Country Girl is Edna O'Brien's beautiful account of her rushing, barrier-busting, up-and-down life."--National Public Radio

When Edna O'Brien's first novel, The nation Girls, was once released in 1960, it so scandalized the O'Briens' neighborhood parish that the ebook used to be burned via its priest. O'Brien used to be undeterred and has given that created a physique of labor that bears comparability with the easiest writing of the 20 th century. Country woman brings us face-to-face with a lifetime of excessive drama and contemplation.

Starting with O'Brien's delivery in a grand yet deteriorating apartment in eire, her tale strikes via convent college to elopement, divorce, single-motherhood, the wild events of the '60s in London, and encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars, and literary titans. there's love and unrequited love, and the glamour of journeys to the USA as a celebrated author and the visitor of Jackie Onassis and Hillary Clinton. Country woman is a wealthy and heady accounting of the occasions, humans, feelings, and panorama that experience imprinted upon and stronger one lifetime.

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We, the boarders, have been little recruits for Heaven, the place we'd learn how to be resistant to passions, to mortify ourselves in each means, and to place up with our chilblains. the present smells have been of wax ground polish and cabbage, yet within the chapel it was once the odor of burning incense, so unique, and in a while that scent lingered on within the wreaths of smoke that clouded the air. no longer lengthy after I had arrived there, crossing the courtyard, i used to be halted in my tracks by means of the sound of whistling, and it looked as if it would me the sweetest and so much melodious sound that you can imagine. I felt that it was once a tender boy on his manner domestic from paintings, and that i had the private longing to not be in that courtyard yet to be in the market, strolling, jogging lower than the celebrities. even supposing we have been at the fringe of town, we'd in addition were in Timbuktu. Our dormitories have been on flooring, one for the junior women and one for the seniors. Seniors had a personal cubicle with a curtain on the finish, yet for us it was once a question of washing through a basin along side the mattress, ladies splashing themselves from ewers of freezing water and attempting to not allow their dressing robes slip off. My dressing costume had belonged to my mom. It was once fawn and furry, and my identify tag used to be sewn at the again of the collar. you'll inform the ladies whose mom and dad have been wealthy via their dressing robes, that have been both quilted or satin, in purple and rose colours. My mom had stitched identify tags on all my uniform and, as she acknowledged, stitched her middle into every one. She cried for per week after I left, and never as soon as did she holiday her quick. I fasted additionally, as the nutrients was once lousy: meat that was once stringy in a pool of brown gravy, the devoted cabbage, and, for night tea, bread that used to be already unfold with a mix of butter and dripping. It was once wartime and butter used to be rationed. In these first weeks, a lady whose mattress sponsored onto mine had apples that she’d hidden in her outfits cabinet, and whilst the lighting fixtures went out, she might devour them. counting on her temper, she might or wouldn't provide me a few. yet sooner than lengthy I realized from a senior that how one can quell starvation used to be to place a blob of Vicks VapoRub at the tongue, which brought on a moderate nausea, although whilst I fell in love, i used to be now not hungry in any respect. The nuns, all sixty or seventy of them, wore voluminous black conduct with stiff white gimp that framed their faces and chiseled them. Nuns who had taken their ultimate vows wore a marriage band at the ring finger, which signified that they have been the Bride of Christ, and lay nuns, who have been diversified from choir nuns, additionally had these marriage ceremony bands, yet they wore aprons and did the menial paintings. 300 ladies with their humors and their tempers and their yearnings and their doubts and their numerous menstruations. My non secular fervor may bounce and falter in the course of these years into which I filled quite a bit wisdom and data that i'd in time put out of your mind. They have been dour years, during which I got here to like Latin, the phrases so correct in my mouth, as though it have been the mummy tongue—amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant; years within which I failed through a couple of marks to win a scholarship, the scholarship that my mom and dad so fervently was hoping i might win, because the annual cost of 40 kilos used to be an immense pressure on their assets; years in which i might fall in love with a nun in a fashion no various, no much less rapturous, from the successive loves which i'd conceive for males down the years.

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