Edna O'Brien on her memoir Country Girl

Listen in pop-out player

Edna O'Brien discusses her memoir Country Girl.
Since the publication of her first novel The Country Girls in 1960, Edna O'Brien has continued to attract controversy, writing on subjects from the Troubles and the IRA, to abortion in her native Ireland.
She explains how her love of books developed, her difficult relationships with both her mother and her husband both of whom didn't want her to write, and why people's cutting remarks about her novels led her to contemplate suicide.

For most of their working time authors shut themselves away and spend months, even years, honing their novels, but for many of them that process is an arduous and unpleasant task. George Orwell said "Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness" while Georges Simenon, creator of the beloved detective Maigret declared "Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness".
Sid Smith and Naomi Alderman discuss the pain and pleasure involved in writing a novel.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Thu 4 Oct 2012 15:30
BBC Radio 4 FM only

More from Books at the BBC

Books at BBC logo

Author interviews, readings, documentaries and highlights from the BBC's books content

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Clips of Books Content

Interviews, previews and reviews

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss