Black Baby

Black Baby

by Clare Boylan

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Irish writer Boylan ( Holy Pictures ; Last Resorts ) opens her fourth novel with a biblical epigraph: ``Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,'' and the theme reverberates throughout this engaging tale. In an unnamed Irish city, Dinah, a big-hearted black woman with a lust for life, winds up on the doorstep of Alice, a fearful 67-year-old spinster. As Dinah recounts her mythic (and mythical) past, Alice comes to believe that Dinah is the black baby she ``bought'' for a missionary donation when she was 12 years old. She welcomes Dinah as her daughter, and Dinah breathes new life into Alice's dull existence. Boylan writes with sureness, aplomb and humor; her metaphoric language crackles with exactitude. She never succumbs to sentimentality or quaintness, even when dealing with subjects as potentially dangerous as brotherly love and the loneliness of old age. Despite the somewhat heavy-handed ironic ending, this is a delightful read. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Alice Boyle, 67-year-old Dublin spinster, leads a quiet, dreary existence until a young black woman mysteriously drifts into her life. She dubs this woman Dinah, after the child she had ``purchased'' from nuns when she, too, was a young woman. Never mind that Dinah is a fraud. She brings color and gaiety to the repressed spinster, whose only solace has been a cat and the annual Christmas visit from her two nephews and their greedy wives. Boylan has skillfully captured the atmosphere of Dublin and its ordinary citizens who love to drink and spin dreams and con their friends and neighbors. Boylan turns out to be the biggest con artist of all with her ironic plot twists and turns. Enjoy every minute of this, with its exquisite writing and empathetic treatment of very believable characters. Highly recommended.-- Marion Hanscom, SUNY at Binghamton Lib.

Product Details

The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed

Meet the Author

Employing her knack for research, her love of the Victorian novel, and her connection to kindred literary spirit Charlotte Brontë, award-winning Irish journalist and novelist Clare Boylan (1948- 2006) accomplished the formidable task of actually "finishing" Brontë's novel Emma Brown. It was the crowning achievement of her distinguished literary career.

Brief Biography

County Wicklow, Ireland
Date of Birth:
April 21, 1948
Date of Death:
May 16, 2006
Place of Birth:
Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:
Dublin, Ireland
"Graduate of the Dublin School of Journalism, and a victim of assorted Irish convent schools."

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