Edna O'Brien's first novel The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in their Married Bliss changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s. The characters of Kate Brady and her friend Baba Brennan have inspired generation after generation of readers and writers, as we see them struggling against the confines of a rural Irish convent school; revelling in the bright lights of Dublin; and weathering the unexpected challenges of married life in London. The passion, artistry, and courage of Edna O'Brien's vision in these novels - tender portraits of innocence and youth, love and passion, dreams and reality - resonate into the twenty-first century, and are illuminated by Eimear McBride's new foreword.
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