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The Love Object: Selected Stories
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Little, Brown and Company 2015
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Collected here for the first time are stories spanning five decades of writing by the "short story master" (Harold Bloom).
As John Banville writes in his introduction to The Love Object, Edna O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time." The thirty-one stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without.
Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked and some carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical. In "A Rose in the Heart of New York," the single-mindedness of love dramatically derails the relationship between a girl and her mother, while in "Sister Imelda" and "The Creature" the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken. "The Love Object" recounts a passionate affair between the narrator and her older lover.
The magnificent, mid-career title story from Lantern Slides portrays a Dublin dinner party that takes on the lives and loves of all the guests. More recent stories include "Shovel Kings" — "a masterpiece of compression, distilling the pain of a lost, exiled generation" (Sunday Times) — and "Old Wounds," which follows the revival and demise of the friendship between two elderly cousins.
In 2011, Edna O'Brien's gifts were acknowledged with the most prestigious international award for the story, the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. The Love Object illustrates a career's worth of shimmering, potent prose from a writer of great courage, vision, and heart.
"The most striking aspect of Edna O'Brien's short stories, aside from the consistent mastery with which they are executed, is their diversity."-John Banville
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Street Date:
05/05/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316337632
ASIN:
B00NERQSD4
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Banville. (2015). The Love Object: Selected Stories. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Banville. 2015. The Love Object: Selected Stories. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Banville, The Love Object: Selected Stories. Little, Brown and Company, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Banville. The Love Object: Selected Stories. Little, Brown and Company, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Apr 07, 2017 17:38:12
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        Edna O'Brien is the author of The Country Girls trilogy, The Light of Evening, The Love Object, and many other acclaimed books. Born and raised in the west of Ireland, O'Brien has lived in London for many years.

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publishDate
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shortDescription
Collected here for the first time are stories spanning five decades of writing by the "short story master" (Harold Bloom).
As John Banville writes in his introduction to The Love Object, Edna O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time." The thirty-one stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without.
Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked and some carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical. In "A Rose in the Heart of New York," the single-mindedness of love dramatically derails the relationship between a girl and her mother, while in "Sister Imelda" and "The Creature" the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken. "The Love Object" recounts a passionate affair...
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title
The Love Object
fullDescription
Collected here for the first time are stories spanning five decades of writing by the "short story master" (Harold Bloom).
As John Banville writes in his introduction to The Love Object, Edna O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time." The thirty-one stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without.
Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked and some carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical. In "A Rose in the Heart of New York," the single-mindedness of love dramatically derails the relationship between a girl and her mother, while in "Sister Imelda" and "The Creature" the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken. "The Love Object" recounts a passionate affair between the narrator and her older lover.
The magnificent, mid-career title story from Lantern Slides portrays a Dublin dinner party that takes on the lives and loves of all the guests. More recent stories include "Shovel Kings" — "a masterpiece of compression, distilling the pain of a lost, exiled generation" (Sunday Times) — and "Old Wounds," which follows the revival and demise of the friendship between two elderly cousins.
In 2011, Edna O'Brien's gifts were acknowledged with the most prestigious international award for the story, the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. The Love Object illustrates a career's worth of shimmering, potent prose from a writer of great courage, vision, and heart.
"The most striking aspect of Edna O'Brien's short stories, aside from the consistent mastery with which they are executed, is their diversity."-John Banville
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crossRefId
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Praise for Edna O'Brien
      • content: Praise for Edna O'Brien
      • premium: False
      • source: Alice Munro
      • content: Edna O'Brien writes the most beautiful, aching stories of any writer, anywhere.
      • premium: False
      • source: Seamus Heaney
      • content: One great virtue of Edna O'Brien's writing is the sensation it gives of a world made new by language.
      • premium: False
      • source: Philip Roth
      • content: The sensibility is on two levels and shuttles back and forth, combining the innocence of childhood with the scars of maturity.
      • premium: False
      • source: Colum McCann
      • content: There is no living Irish writer who compares in terms of style, stamina, depth, or meaning.
      • premium: False
      • source: Praise for THE LOVE OBJECT
      • content: Praise for THE LOVE OBJECT
      • premium: False
      • source: Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement
      • content: When a writer as gifted as O'Brien memorializes a vanishing world, we experience not only the 'lost landscape' but the richly ambivalent emotions it has evoked.
      • premium: False
      • source: Lucy Scholes, Observer
      • content: Every one of the stories included is a shining example of a master at work.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 2, 2015
        O’Brien, who introduced an Irish female perspective to the 1960s literary landscape, has produced stories over the last half-century that resonate with charm and acerbity, lyricism and terseness, nostalgia and brute force. Her early stories depict an Ireland of isolated villages and poor mountain farms where, in a moment, dreams turn to hopelessness, innocence to shame. Autobiographical tales feature mothers recalling days in America, schoolgirls bristling at convent education, and country lasses escaping to London. In “Irish Revel,” a farm girl bicycles into town for a party only to find herself moving furniture and cooking dinner. In “Sister Imelda,” the title character returns from university lonely and apart, an exile “in the mind.” Spirited Eily of “A Scandalous Woman” ends up trapped in a spiritless marriage, and the protagonist of “The Conner Girls,” like Chekhovian figurines, are trapped by their own lack of will. “Mrs. Reinhardt” and “A Rose in New York” exemplify stories exploring relationships between women. Men are mostly observed by women, as in “The Love Object,” which details a London divorcée’s affair with a married man. “Brother” depicts a particularly vicious man through his sister’s murderous eyes. “The Shovel Kings” shows sympathy for Irish laborers in England. John Banville’s introduction to the collection highlights O’Brien’s technique as well as her Irish roots. The stories validate his admiration—O’Brien’s self-described gallery of “strange” and “sacrificial” Irish women is indispensable.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2015
        A career's selection of stories to savor.These 31 stories by O'Brien (The Country Girls Trilogy, 1986, etc.), spanning some four decades, are brought together in the sort of volume meant to establish a legacy and win prizes. The Irish-raised, London-based author hasn't been praised for her short stories with the same reverence as William Trevor or Alice Munro (the Nobel Prize winner who provides a rapturous blurb here, proclaiming that O'Brien writes "the most beautiful, aching stories of any writer, anywhere"). Perhaps her novels, memoir, and persona have distracted attention from her mastery of short fiction, which reveals itself over the course of this generous selection as the focus moves from Irish girlhood to the literary life in large, cosmopolitan cities. Not that these stories are necessarily autobiographical or that it even matters if they are. The power of the first-person narrative in a perfect, and perfectly wrenching, story such as "My Two Mothers" rings truer than a memoir might, as O'Brien describes a relationship with a mother who is somehow both lover and enemy, the breach caused when "I began to write," the story itself a meditation on life, literature, and "being plunged into the moiling seas of memory." Hers is not the sort of writing that indulges in what one story dismisses as "clever words and hollow feelings"; her stories ask impossibly difficult questions about the nature of love and the possibility of happiness, and they refuse to settle for easy answers. As she writes in "Manhattan Medley," a tale of infidelity in a city and a world filled with it, "the reason that love is so painful is that it always amounts to two people wanting more than two people can give." Beneath the veneer of sophistication in a story such as "Lantern Slides," the emotional ravages are as deep as in the hardscrabble stories of rural Ireland. With an introduction by John Banville and a dedication to Philip Roth, this collection positions O'Brien among the literary heavyweights, where it confirms she belongs.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2015
        O'Brien is an Irish national treasure, having secured a place in the pantheon of top-notch twentieth-century Irish writers of fiction. But her luminous reputation was not always the case. Her early novels, including The Country Girls (1960), The Lonely Girl (1962), and Girls in Their Married Bliss (1964), caused a stir in the conservative Ireland of the time. But times have caught up to her smart (as in deeply intelligent) probing of women's lives and her sassiness in depicting men's vulnerabilities in the face of the wiles of strong women. What we see now is what was always there, brilliant prose couched in extremely creative and relevant story lines presenting well-understood and broadly understandable characters.Talented novelists who are also strong short story writers are often subject to debate about whether they perform better in the short or long form. But that is actually a specious argument, as novels and short stories are two different animals, the standards of quality are not the same, and the appeal to readers is certainly not identical. Whatever the case may be, O'Brien succeeds with genius-level ingenuity in producing short stories achingly effective, as evidenced in this hefty gathering selected from her output over the past five decades. In Irish Revel, one of the collection's masterpieces, a 17-year-old girl is excited to attend her first party, living as she does in a mountainy farm in Ireland, where life was hard. However, she realizes when she gets to the party that the hostess hadn't invited her as a guest but to help serve the guests. Other disappointments ensue, leaving the girl to wonder if all parties were as bad. Mrs. Reinhardt sees a middle-aged married woman in need, in the face of her husband's desertion, of a place to re-meet the god of peace. But the lovely hotel in Brittany she selects as the site for her restorative vacation proves otherwise. These are just two examples of the simultaneous jolts to heart and mind O'Brien's fortunate readers repeatedly experience in her stories.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2014

        As John Banville says in his introduction, O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time," and she demonstrated her special skills with short fiction by winning the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for Saints and Sinners. Spanning five decades, the 31 stories here offer an ongoing portrait of contemporary Ireland. With a 25,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2015

        Near the beginning of "A Rose in the Heart of Brooklyn" there appears the sentence "Why be a woman." This question punctuated as a declaration disorients readers; it challenges their expectations while underscoring a sense of resignation or even defeat. Such brilliant ambiguities lie at the heart of the 31 stories in this anthology from Irish author O'Brien, widely hailed for her mastery of description and characterization. O'Brien's depictions of people and the social and emotional forces that define the relationships between them are subtly and surprisingly evoked. In the classic title story, for example, a professional woman describes a passionate affair with a married man that eventually cools into a sad, bearable friendship. Most of the early stories focus on women and the ways power manifests itself in their relationships, most profoundly between mothers and daughters. Later stories, such as the brilliant "Shovel Kings" and "Inner Cowboy," reveal the complex social politics governing how men interact. VERDICT O'Brien's reputation as one of the greatest storytellers in modern literature is only strengthened by this volume's publication. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]--John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
Selected Stories
popularity
62
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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