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As a child Alice had paid the nuns half a crown to adopt a black baby from the mission in Africa - a baby that never appeared. Now a loveless spinster of sixty-seven, still yearning for a daughter, Alice's life is one of dull predictability, unbroken by the ritual visit from her middle-aged relatives.
Then one evening Dinah storms into her home. Bawdy, busty and black, enigmatic friend to the wayward and eccentric, Dinah is about to take on Dublin and transform Alice's life - creating a world of unlimited love and miraculous possibilities...
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A touching story of companionship from one of the unsung heroes of contemporary Irish literature, Black Baby is a complex novel that traces the tragic and comic effects of human loneliness. Alice is an elderly spinster whose Christmas speech to her nephews ends with "I am all alone in the world. I have neither chick nor child" as she passes year by predictable year in the same Dublin house she was born in. One stormy night, Alice opens her door to Dinah, a spirited black woman whom Alice becomes convinced is the black baby she "adopted" from the missionaries of Africa when she was a child. This new-found daughter breathes warmth and energy into Alice's barren existence, and a friendship ensues that becomes the beloved focus of a lonely woman's life. Clare Boylan has written a moving novel that is punctuated with laugh-out-loud scenes of absurdity reminiscent of fellow Irishman Flann O'Brien: "...it was not Mrs Willoughby's hand which had struck the table, but her head. The vigilant glass eyes of the fox stared up from the bread plate, its dead paws flung out in alarm beside the dead head of its owner." Magical and absorbing, this book is a wonder to read. --Shannon BinghamReview:
Sexual generosity triumphs over terrified frigidity, warmth dries out cold, renewal stamps out decay... This is a novelist who alters one's ways of seeing (SUNDAY TIMES)
Splendidly original and richly comic... the writing is a joy (IRISH TIMES)
The book I have read with the greatest pleasure, amusement and deep sympathy (Molly Keane, SUNDAY TIMES)
Humorous and inventive... it spills over with affections for strangeness and wayward warmth (THE TIMES)
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Book Description Abacus. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk0349110832
Book Description Abacus, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0349110832
Book Description Abacus, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110349110832
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0349110832