Edna O'Brien (born 15 December 1930) is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer. She is considered the "doyenne" of Irish literature. Philip Roth considers her "the most gifted woman now writing in English", while former President of Ireland Mary Robinson regards her as "one of the great creative writers of her generation."
O'Brien's works often revolve around the inner feelings of women, and their problems in relating to men, and to society as a whole. Her first novel, The Country Girls, is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II. The book was banned, burned and denounced from the pulpit, and O'Brien left Ireland behind.
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