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Edna O'Brien

'New Critical Perspectives'

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Edited By Maureen O'Connor, Kathryn Laing and Sinead Mooney

The essays collected in Edna O’Brien: New Critical Perspectives illustrate the range, complexity and interest of O’Brien as a fiction writer and dramatist. Together they contribute to a broader appreciation of her work and to an evolution of new critical approaches, as well as igniting greater interest in the many unexplored areas of her considerable oeuvre.

The contributors who include new and established scholars in the field of O’Brien criticism, are Rebecca Pelan, Maureen O’Connor, Michelle Woods, Bertrand Cardin, Ann Norton, Eve Stoddard, Michael Harris, Loredana Salis, Shirley Peterson, Patricia Coughlan, Sinéad Mooney, and Mary Burke.

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6 | Sexuality, Nation, and Land in the Postcolonial Novels of Edna O’Brien and Jamaica Kincaid

6 | Sexuality, Nation, and Land in the Postcolonial Novels of Edna O’Brien and Jamaica Kincaid

Extract

Eve Stoddard

That Antigua no longer exists. That Antigua no longer exists partly for the usual reason, the passing of time, and partly because the bad-minded people who used to rule over it, the English, no longer do so … And so all this fuss over empire ― what went wrong here, what went wrong there ― always makes me quite crazy, for I can say to them what went wrong: they should never have left their home, their precious England, a place they loved so much, a place they had to leave but could never forget.

Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

Fields that mean more than fields, fields that translate into nuptials into blood; fields lost, regained, and lost again in that fickle and fractured sequence of things; the sons of Oisin, the sons of Conn and Connor, the sons of Abraham, the sons of Seth, the sons of Ruth, the sons of Delilah, the warring sons of warring sons cursed with that same irresistible thrall of madness which is the designate of living man, as though he had to walk back through time and place, back to the voiding emptiness to repossess ground gone for ever.

Edna O’Brien, Wild Decembers

Both Edna O’Brien and Jamaica Kincaid are feminist writers who live in a metropolitan nation and write about the op←104 | 105→pressive conditions of life, especially for women, in their countries of origin, Ireland and Antigua, respectively, both former British...

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