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The Visitor

The Visitor by Maeve Brennan, ISBN: 9781905494217
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ISBN: 9781905494217
Publisher: New Island Books
Published: 1 March, 2006
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Links Australian Libraries (Trove)
Editions: 3 other editions of this product

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The Visitor

New Yorker writer Maeve Brennan delivered a posthumous one-two with her biting collections The Springs of Affection and The Rose Garden. Now comes The Visitor, a previously unpublished novella written in the 1940s. In Brennan's stories, something quietly horrid has always just happened, or is just about to happen, or both. In The Visitor, it seems to be both. Twenty-two-year-old Anastasia King returns to Dublin after living with her mother in Paris for the past six years. The two left behind Anastasia's father and his fierce old mother. It is to this scary granny that Anastasia returns, now that her mother and father have died. But she is met by an implacable rage: Mrs. King has determined not to forgive Anastasia for deserting the family. Brennan sketches in this woman's nastiness in just a few lines. Typically, she writes around her character, rather than tackling her head on: "Mrs. King came into the room in silence. She sat down without speaking, arranging her long black skirt about her long-hidden, unimaginable knees, and examining the tea tray with a critical eye." It is clear that while Anastasia thinks she has come home to stay, she is a mere visitor, and an unwelcome one at that. Few writers so delicately and cruelly parse their countrymen; Brennan wickedly lays bare the malicious repression of the Irish. Even as she satirizes her sanctimonious people, she makes us know that the pain they inflict and feel is r

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