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A controversial vel which challenges the moral standing of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland DOWN BY THE RIVER begins, deceptively, in an idyllic rural setting somewhere in Ireland. By the end, its consequences have addressed and divided the political and judicial fabric of the nation. A crime of passion results in an emotional battlefield for one and all, with opposing factions taking militant sides. In the centre, a young girl struggles with the conflicts of mind and body, the teaching of her faith and her mounting bewilderment at what she might do. This is her rite of passage, a stark progress from the role of child to that of woman; an initiation into terror and beyond it to wisdom.
Edna O'Brien is the author of 19 books. She was the winner of the 1993 Writers Guild Prize for Fiction. Her biography of James Joyce was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in June 1999. Her recent fiction has been about Irish topics - religion, politics, property. In 2001 her documentary novel, In the Forest - about a brutal murder on the west coast - caused a furore in her native Ireland. It was the subject of a BBC Omnibus film.
Orion Publishing Co
Date of Publication
General & Literary Fiction
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Country of Publication
Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )