John McGahern The Barracks

ISBN 13: 9780142004258

The Barracks

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9780142004258: The Barracks

One of the preeminent Irish writers of our time, John McGahern has captivated readers with such poignant and heart-wrenching novels as Amongst Women and The Dark. Moving between tragedy and savage comedy, desperation and joy, McGahern’s first novel, The Barracks, is one of haunting power. Elizabeth Reegan, after years of freedom—and loneliness—marries into the enclosed Irish village of her upbringing. The children are not her own; her husband is straining to break free from the servile security of the police force; and her own life, threatened by illness, seems to be losing the last vestiges of its purpose.

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About the Author:

John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst Women, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

From Booklist:

Celebrated Irish author McGahern has written six novels, most recently By the Lake (2002) and four short story collections. This is the first U.S. publication of his first novel, which was written in 1963. It is the story of Elizabeth Reegan, who, after years of being alone, marries a widower with three children. Her husband, a policeman, is a hard and bitter man who never passes up the opportunity to stick it to his rule-mongering boss. Endless chores and her deep awareness of her inability to soothe her husband's restlessness or to be an essential part of her stepchildren's lives have left Elizabeth dispirited. When she learns that she has breast cancer, her feelings about the futility of her life deepen, but she also sees the value in trying to meet her fate with dignity. Shot through with fatalism and told in reserved and beautiful prose, this authoritative novel conveys both the bleakness of the Irish civil servant's lot in the 1960s and the courage needed to face down frustration and despair. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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