Kate O'Brien and the Basques/ La Escritora Kate O'Brien Y Euskadi
Aintzane L. Mentxaka (Author)
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DescriptionThis is a singular piece of literary research and criticism by a scholar fluent in English, Spanish, Irish and Basque who has utilized all the sources available to write a thorough study of Kate O'Brien (called by Dr. Declan Kilberd one of the top 20 Irish authors of the 20th century). O'Brien (1897-1974) was not only a playwright and a splendid writer of prose but a close student of the Basques at a time when the very survival of their society was at terrible risk. As a feminist O'Brien was fascinated by the role of women and the identity politics of Republican Spain as well as the Francoist regime that took control in 1939.
Kate O'Brien's best known work is the 1936 novel Mary Lavelle ; it was banned in both Spain and Ireland for many years. This work is discussed at length and placed in the context of her other fiction, reportage and polemics. Very popular in the 1940s she fell into obscurity until revived in the 1990s in part because of her championing of gay and lesbian characters in her novels and plays and in part because of the brilliant writing than ran uninterruptedly from 1931 when she won the James Tait Black memorial prize till her last novel in 1958.
30 July 2015
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