This previously unpublished novella by the late Maeve Brennan is "an astonishing miniature masterpiece. [It] will stay with the reader forever."-Nuala O'Faolain.. Maeve Brennan has been called one of the best Irish writers of stories since Joyce, and with The Visitor her oeuvre is immeasurably deepened and broadened. Written in the mid-1940s, it is a story of Dublin and of the unkind, ungenerous, emotionally distant side of the Irish temper. This haunting novella stands with her greatest short stories.
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(184mm x 121mm x 10mm)
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UK Kirkus Review »
Irish-American writer Maeve Brennan, who died in 1993, is justly admired for her stories and articles for the New Yorker, and this novella - written in the 1940s but not published until 2001 - gives added evidence of her gifts. The story has a wrenching sadness that leaves a mark on the reader, its tale of rejection and loneliness almost too hard to bear. The title - as spare and forthright as the writer's style - is exactly right At 16 Anastasia left her home in Dublin to follow her mother to exile in Paris. Now, six years later, she is coming home to her grandmother only to find that that word is denied to her as she is asked how long she intends to stay. A meticulous evocation of the old lady, her equally aged servant and the preserved past of their house creates an atmosphere of musty despair. Increasingly dislocated from ordinary life, Anastasia persists in her hope that she will be welcomed and loved. She rebuffs suggestions that she should make her life elsewhere and refuses to acknowledge her grandmother's polite coldness. As Anastasia begins to lose hope Brennan demonstrates her gift for conveying the deadliness of spite without exaggeration. In a chilling few lines she shows the girl withdrawing from normal life: 'Now in the city there are two worlds. One world has walls around it and one world has people round it.' Anastasia wants to be loved in that world with walls around it but she is locked out. (Kirkus UK)
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