Actress (Hardback)
  • Actress (Hardback)
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Actress (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 272 Pages
Published: 20/02/2020
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Waterstones Says

A deft novel of mother-daughter relationships and the dark underbelly of fame and adulation, Actress deftly unpacks the secrets and lies of a renowned theatre performer and the effects of her notoriety on the child who idolised her.

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

From Anne Enright, 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.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781787332065
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 392 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 144 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

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

Anne Enright, the unofficial rock star of literary fiction, cements her stardom with Actress. - Niamh Donnelly, Irish Times

Actress absolutely enthralled me… [An] immersive, masterful novel. - Anya Meyerowitz, Red Magazine

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

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

Anne Enright's gorgeous book Actress raised an enviable bar: uniquely, in modern fiction, a novelist who can do justice to portraying a modern actor. - David Hare, New Statesman Books of the Year*

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

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

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

Anne Enright's Actress remains vivid in my mind many months after reading. No one is better on mothers and daughters. Actress is absorbing, entertaining and beguiling and stole the show for me in 2020. - Helen Cullen, Irish Times Books of the Year*

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Hardback

“Simply brilliant....”

“Actress “ is the story of Irish theatre legend and one-time Hollywood star, Katherine O’Dell, told by her only child, Norah. Norah , a novelist, married with children now older than her mother sets out to figure out... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 90

“Life on the stage!”

Richly imagined. We will discover how Katherine O’Dell spent time on the stage. It is described by her daughter, Norah. As she retraces her childhood, in search of her father. We will learn family secrets. Norah can... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 78
Kev McCready

“Performance Of A Lifetime”

A beautiful, eloquent graceful read. Not a phrase or line wasted. I still think now, that she doesn’t get enough credit for being such a talented writer.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 44

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