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. Download and start listening now!