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The Portable Virgin
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The Portable Virgin

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The characters in this fierce and witty first collection of stories stand at an oblique angle to society. Full of desire, but out of kilter, their response to a dislocated reality is mutinous, wild, unforgettable.
Published by Reed International Books (first published January 9th 1992)
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Neelakshi Chakraborty
The new voice in Irish fiction,Anne Enright, is definitely original and striking. 'A Portable Virgin' consists of short stories, each story elegantly crafted, each with a slightly absurdest soul of its own. However, if only that was all it took to write great fiction!

Here is one excerpt from the book which best explains Anne Enright's craft :

"I started off with mackarel pete, mackarel being a scavenger fish, and good for the heart.I followed with veal osso bucco, for reaons I need not elaborate
Paul Taylor
Angela Carter's quote on the cover describes the stories as original; not wishing to contradict so eminent a critic I would use the adjectives surreal and impenetrable. The catholic angst that characterises Enright's work is much in evidence but I put the book down with the sense that I must have missed something.
Dec 20, 2014 Lari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lari by: Sara
I didn't know what to expect from it, other than it was meant to be good. And it was. The stories are adorable and quirky and I enjoyed Anne's writing style and humour very much. An enjoyable, light read. I read it all in one day, it was a really good day :)
Jim M
A modern Irish short story masters collection.
Preema Priyambada
Not a single sentence go waste and each of them sting. It was a short story collection and pleasantly shocking. As if you get something more out of every successive reading.

At some point we stop looking for a definite answer, and in those stories we feel she has at least acknowledged them,the themes aren't simple, they are those nameless things which bother you behind your head(ok, if not everyone's heads, us misfits) and you cannot name them.

I'm not really a fan of short stories - but I still try them from time to time to see if I can change my mind. This collection was ok - not the best but not the worst I have read. Enright has an unusual eye and a lively imagination - I'm keen to try another of her novels.
Engaging writing style and personal voice but the author has a spaghetti brain. Most of the stories are a mess - had literally no idea what was going on sometimes - so you have got to filter hard for the gems...but when you get there, it's worth it:)
Mar 20, 2007 courtney rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of tight stories
i read "the house of the architect's love story" in college and was astounded at the power of words to make you root for and hate a character. enright has an odd, somewhat uneven body of work, but i love her. and this collection especially.
I love Anne Enright and think she is one of the best authors alive, however, I am not sure this book is worth the effort. Most of the best stories are collected in her latest book, Yesterday's Weather.
Sep 30, 2008 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who love beautiful honest writing.
Shelves: important
Anne Enright's writing style washes over the reader with honest meaning and poignant moments of clarity that define parts of us we haven't known how to articulate.
An eclectic mixture. Some impenetrable some wry but all with their own momentum. If you don't understand the Irish condition you won't get the most out of it.
Interested in other works by this author
Enjoyed the Gathering. Could not get into thos one
Just didn't get these. Dis-jointed, weird, no story. No idea what most were about?
Jacqueline Worboys
Certainly is original.
Sigridur Maria
Aðeins of hástemmd.
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Anne Enright is a Booker Prize-winning Irish author.

She has published essays, short stories, a non-fiction book and four novels.

Before her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Enright had a low profile in Ireland and the United Kingdom, although her books were favourably reviewed and widely praised.

Her writing explores themes such as family relationships, love and sex, Ireland's di
More about Anne Enright...
The Gathering The Forgotten Waltz Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood Yesterday's Weather What are You Like?

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“Of course I am bland, she thought. You too would be bland if you grew up with one gas pump in front of the house and nothing else except a view that stretched over half the world. Landscape made me bland, bears poking in the garbage can stunted my individuality, as did plagues of horseflies, permafrost, wild-fire, and the sun setting like a bomb. So much sky makes one bewildered - which is the proper way to be.” 0 likes
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