Amongst Women

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Overview

Michael Moran is an old Irish Republican whose life was forever transformed by his days of glory as a guerrilla leader in the Irish War of Independence. Moran is till fighting—with his family, his friends, and even himself—in this haunting testimony to the enduring qualities of the human spirit.

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Overview

Michael Moran is an old Irish Republican whose life was forever transformed by his days of glory as a guerrilla leader in the Irish War of Independence. Moran is till fighting—with his family, his friends, and even himself—in this haunting testimony to the enduring qualities of the human spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A lyric lament for Ireland, McGahern's lovingly observed family drama is dominated by an almost pathetic paterfamilias. Gruff, blustering Michael Moran, former guerrilla hero in the Irish War of Independence, is a man ``in permanent opposition.'' Now a farmer, he vents his compulsion to dominate, his cold fury and sense of betrayal on his three teenage daughters. Yearning for approval but fearing his flare-ups, they periodically beat a path back to the farmhouse from London and Dublin, then take flight again, both proud and dependent. Moran's second wife, Rose, much younger than he, displays saintly patience in her attempts to heal this splintering family. Moran also claims a renegade son in London who is ``turning himself into a sort of Englishman,'' and another son driven away by Moran's threats of beatings. McGahern ( The Dark ; The Pornographer ) has crafted a wise and tender novel whose brooding hero seems emblematic of an Ireland that drives away its sons and daughters. (Sept.)
Library Journal
One joke about the Irish War of independence is that several weeks' negotiations only reached the Middle Ages. McGahern's character Moran is an aging veteran of that war whose brooding on the past obscures his present. The novel is in form and style much like McGahern's first, The Barracks (1963). A male protagonist whose extreme state of mind could be called patrimania abuses the women who sustain him and refuses to acknowledge the obsolescence of his mind, body, and convictions. Such is Moran's obstinacy that he manages to traumatize his family by the mulish application of the ``family-that-prays-together-stays-together'' theory. McGahern's work vindicates obsession with the past and reexamination of fictional landscape by extracting new power from familiar predicaments. A most satisfying addition to a very distinguished body of work.-- John P. Harrington, Cooper Union, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140092554
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1991
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 485,738
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst Women, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    A fascinating study of a destructive man

    After finishing this book for the first time I was so profoundly depressed. There is an underlying grimness in this book. The day in, day out effort of living in the Moran household is clearly outlined and the book very firmly rooted in the domestic. But weeks later, the character of Moran, a man at war with life, a man whose ability to love is stiffled by this overwhelming need to control, was still haunting my mind. When I went back to the book, I discovered moments of deeply black humour. This isn't an uplifting book but the character of Moran, the effect this man has on his children, his attitude towards his family, his children's perception of him ( they pride him on his refusal to make conversation with other people when out in public, admire his air of 'separateness')it all stays with the reader long after the book ends.It's one of those important books that changes your perception of life, if you give the grimness a chance.

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