Actress

Actress : LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2020

3.73 (199 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

*LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2020*

From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter's search to understand her mother's hidden truths.

This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London's West End. Katherine's life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.

But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine's past, or the world's damage. As Norah uncovers her mother's secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime.

Actress is about a daughter's search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad.

Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd.

**A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2020**
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 27mm | 392g
  • Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1787332063
  • 9781787332065
  • 416

Review Text

"This book could easily, and mistakenly, be lumped together with other #MeToo novels; work that seems to feed the patriarchy rather than challenge it. Enright, sensibly, doesn’t care if she has your sympathy – she’s too cold, too sharp…so effective. No one understands rage, or the lucid, bleached moments that follow it, better than Enright… If these stories took a physical form, I imagine they would be a well-dressed woman screaming into a silk pillowcase. Which is to say, I love them."
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Review quote

This book could easily, and mistakenly, be lumped together with other #MeToo novels; work that seems to feed the patriarchy rather than challenge it. Enright, sensibly, doesn't care if she has your sympathy - she's too cold, too sharp...so effective. No one understands rage, or the lucid, bleached moments that follow it, better than Enright... If these stories took a physical form, I imagine they would be a well-dressed woman screaming into a silk pillowcase. Which is to say, I love them. -- Nicole Flattery * London Review of Books * Enright is quick, knowing, enjoyably sharp... There are leaps of joy in Actress... It sparkles with light, rapid, shrugging wit; cliches are skewered in seconds... The magic of pre-war touring players, holding audiences rapt in country halls, is richly done. -- Alexandra Harris * Guardian, *Book of the Week* * Sentence after sentence is laid down with the solidity of a line of bricks, transforming ordinary life into something beautiful and strange... Every word feels right. -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst * The Times * The best novel involving theatre since Angela Carter's Wise Children... This novel achieves what no real actor's memoir could... Enright triumphs as a chameleon: memoirist, journalist, critic, daughter - her emotional intelligence knows no bounds. -- Kate Kellaway * Observer * Written with all the ingenuity and twisty tautness of a thriller...[Actess], which vividly recreates the bohemian world of the theatre, is a study of love that is all the more uplifting because it is unsparing... I read Actress absolutely rapt from cover to cover. -- Melanie Phillips * The Times * May I recommend Actress by Anne Enright. Her writing is always pitch perfect, but this is truly exquisite. If there is such a thing as the perfect novel, this is it. -- Nigella Lawson In Katherine O'Dell, her fictional fallen star of stage and screen...Enright has created a heroine as irresistible to the reader as to her audiences... She has become a byword for contemporary Irish literary fiction at its finest. -- Lisa Allardice * Guardian * Actress absolutely enthralled me... [An] immersive, masterful novel. -- Anya Meyerowitz * Red Magazine * Out in force. Anne Enright, the unofficial rock star of literary fiction, cements her stardom with Actress. -- Niamh Donnelly * Irish Times * A perfect jewel of a book, a dark emerald set in the Irish laureate's fictional tiara, alongside her Man Booker Prize winner The Gathering (2007) and The Green Road (2015). Its brilliance is complex and multifaceted, but completely lucid... Actress is a deeply humane, often darkly funny novel about the exercise of power over sexually attractive women. The grim subject matter is illuminated by Enright's acute sensitivity to language... Enright proves, once again, her genius. -- Ruth Scurr * Spectator *
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About Anne Enright

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has written two collections of stories, published together as Yesterday's Weather, one book of non-fiction, Making Babies, and six novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Forgotten Waltz, which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Green Road, which was the Bord Gais Energy Novel of the Year and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.
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Rating details

199 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 29% (58)
4 33% (66)
3 24% (48)
2 10% (19)
1 4% (8)
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