Dr Maureen O'Connor contributing to this year’s Dublin One City One Book programme

27 Feb 2019

Dr O’Connor will be delivering a talk, “Girl Talk: Controversy and The Country Girls  at the Ballyroan Library in Rathfarnham on 11 April, and participating in a panel discussion on the topic of “Writing Women, Society, and Sex in Ireland” at the National Library on 13 April.  



Dublin: One City, One Book is an award-winning Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year. The 2019 book choice is Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girl Trilogy.

The Country Girls Trilogy

When The Country Girls, Edna O’Brien’s first novel, appeared in 1960, it predated and anticipated the feminist revolution.  It stood out and stood alone, upturning every category.  There was little to compare with it. 

The Country Girls grew over time to what we now know as The Country Girls Trilogy, encompassing the title volume, a second novel Girl with Green Eyes,published in 1962, and Girls in Their Married Bliss, published in 1964.  It is given to few to write their most important works early on.  Quite simply, The Country Girls is a twentieth-century literary masterpiece which anticipates and puts into effect a feminist revolution all of its own.

It tells the story of two young girls from Country Clare, Cait Brady and Baba Brennan, and tracks them from childhood through the vicissitudes of adolescence, marriage, emigration to Dublin and then to London and the terrible reckonings of adult life.  Cait, the timid romanticist, who unfailingly falls for the wrong kind of man and suffers accordingly, is contrasted with Baba who is more hard-nosed, cynical, and pragmatic. 

The Country Girls Trilogy is outstanding because of its stylistic variation and the uncanny accuracy of its vision: each of the novels is tonally quite different but each achieves the same level of precision and insight into the social and emotional conditions of lives in 1950s rural Ireland and in London in the 1960s. 

All details at this link:

English Department

Roinn an Bhéarla

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork. Ireland