Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mother Ireland: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Mother Ireland: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mother Ireland: A Memoir

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Long before Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes)and Nuala O'Faolain (Are You Somebody?) reminisced about the hardships and humor of their Irish childhoods, acclaimed novelist Edna O'Brien captured the soul of Ireland and its people in her 1976 memoir, Mother Ireland. Long out-of-print, Plume is reissuing this emerald gem so that it will take its rightful place among contemporary ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Plume (first published 1976)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mother Ireland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mother Ireland

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtDubliners by James JoyceThe Collected Poems by W.B. YeatsDracula by Bram Stoker
Best Irish Literature
130th out of 430 books — 494 voters
Sleeping Murder by Agatha ChristieInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsLast Seen Wearing by Colin DexterA River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean
Best Books of 1976
16th out of 85 books — 31 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 402)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Janebbooks
The Irish writer Edna O'Brien was born in County Clare in 1930. MOTHER IRELAND is her first nonfiction book. It was written in 1976.

O'Brien comments on the title of this book: "Countries are either mothers or fathers...Ireland has always been a woman, a womb, a cave, a cow, a Rosaleen, a sow, a bride, a harlot, and, of course, the gaunt Hag of Beare."

In 1979 I entered the University of North Florida as a night student pursuing a degree in Literature. I joined UNF's Irish Studies program in 1986.
...more
Monica
Feb 08, 2010 Monica marked it as to-read
My mom's childhood (life) was not really a happy one. She wasn't particulary fond of the pain Frank McCourt's memoir brought up. He tells some very funny anecdotes but bottom line is if this is too upsetting, I may not finish it.
Marion
I am so glad this is being reissued. So much has changed in daily life in Ireland now that it is important to have a record of the Ireland that my parents grew up in. O'Brien's writing is as always lyrical. Written more as a series of reflections than in linear fashion the pieces show her impatiences with the society she felt was restrctive, as well as her love for her inheritance. It explores her reasons for going to live in England, her regret at her need to leave, and her sense of being the o ...more
Joeji
Jun 22, 2007 Joeji rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like to pretend they are Irish
This was a perfect book for my recent Irish literature craze (which resulted in a book by John McGahern, a group of plays by Martin McDonagh, The Truth about the Irish, and one bought, but uncracked Anthology of Irish literature--also resulted in a weekly combination of orange, green, and white clothing).

O'Brien gives the reader a great sense of the complications of Irishness. She lands hard on what she perceives as backwards and moves from history and myth to the trials of mundane life with ea
...more
Phillip
A beautiful book - it made me want to go to Ireland in the worse way - more so than reading Joyce. Her prose is really inspired by poetry, which is not uncommon for Irish writers. I also read her study of Joyce, which was really compact and potent.
Jays
It's Edna O'Brien. The woman knows how to spin a yarn, and doubly so when it's her own memoirs. Her style is very lyrical, however, so if you're a fan of more straight up, parsed down prose, this is probably not the Irish memoir for you.
Madeline
Just not my favorite. A bit morose, perhaps even melodramatic, and the prose felt unnecessarily heavy. Not to devalue Ms. O'Brien's experiences, but it just didn't do anything for me.
Mckyla
Mckyla marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Rhana Williams
Rhana Williams marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Trisha
Trisha is currently reading it
Jun 29, 2015
Renate
Renate marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2015
Nelson
Nelson marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2015
Paula
Paula marked it as to-read
May 30, 2015
Peggy
Peggy marked it as to-read
May 27, 2015
Judy Brown
Judy Brown marked it as to-read
May 19, 2015
Kim
Kim marked it as to-read
May 19, 2015
Sovevuni
Sovevuni marked it as to-read
May 13, 2015
Molly
Molly marked it as to-read
May 11, 2015
Mary Lynn
Mary Lynn marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
Martha
Martha marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2015
Mary Shanley-Koeber
Mary Shanley-Koeber marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2015
Hallie Adams
Hallie Adams marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
Suzy Espersen
Suzy Espersen marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Elizabeth
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2015
Olivia
Olivia marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman
  • All Will Be Well: A Memoir
  • The Informer
  • The Oxford History of Ireland
  • The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood
  • 1916: The Easter Rising
  • The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats
  • The Poor Mouth: A Bad Story about the Hard Life
  • Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad
  • How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads
  • Ireland: A Terrible Beauty
  • Reading Turgenev
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
  • Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland
  • The Tenants of Time  (The Thomas Flanagan Trilogy #2)
  • Confessions of an Irish Rebel
  • O Come Ye Back to Ireland: Our First Year in County Clare
  • On an Irish Island
7184
Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), an award-winning Irish author of novels, plays, and short stories, has been hailed as one of the greatest chroniclers of the female experience in the twentieth century. She is the 2011 recipient of the Frank O’Connor Prize, awarded for her short story collection Saints and Sinners. She has also received, among other honors, the Irish PEN Award for Literature, the Ulysses Me ...more
More about Edna O'Brien...
The Country Girls The Country Girls Trilogy In the Forest Country Girl House of Splendid Isolation

Share This Book