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The story of the legendary Irish actress Katherine O'Dell as told by her daughter. This novel is smart, sympathetic, and casts the kind of spell one imagines the mythical O'Dell would have cast had she been a real person.
Longlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction
“Another brilliant novel” (Ron Charles, Washington Post) and the literary hit of the season from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Gathering.
Katherine O’Dell is an Irish theater legend turned Hollywood film star. Every moment of her life is a performance, with her daughter, Norah, standing in the wings. With age, alcohol, and dimming stardom, however, Katherine’s grip on reality grows fitful. Fueled by a proud and long-simmering rage, she commits a shocking crime. As Norah revisits her mother’s life of fiercely kept secrets, she confronts in turn the secrets of her own sexual and emotional coming-of-age. With virtuosic storytelling and in prose at turns lyrical and knife-sharp, Anne Enright takes readers to the heart of the maddening yet tender love that binds a mother and daughter.
About the Author
Anne Enright is author of five novels, most recently Actress. Among the awards she has received are the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz. She lives in Dublin.
Anne Enright writes so well that she just might ruin you for anyone else…Stripped raw of any sentimentality, the result is a critique, a confession, a love letter—and another brilliant novel from Anne Enright. — Ron Charles
Gorgeously written fiction…Enright’s unflinching portrait…is scrupulously developed and painfully moving. — Wendy Smith
There is something that seems effortless about Ms. Enright’s writing—an illusion, of course, but one brilliantly sustained. — Sam Sacks
Captivating. — Sara Resnick
Intoxicating. — Mary Gordon
Another triumph for Enright: a confluence of lyrical prose, immediacy, warmth, and emotional insight.
Enright’s indelible images of the primal love between mother and daughter that ebbs, flows, and ultimately abides will stick with readers.