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The Wren, The Wren

The Booker Prize-winning author

Anne Enright



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Jonathan Cape Ltd
07 October 2023
A contemporary novel of daughterhood and motherhood, from the Booker Prize-winning Irish author

Carmel had been alone all her life. The baby knew this. They looked at each other, and all of time was there. The baby knew how vast her mother's loneliness had been.

'A magnificent novel' SALLY ROONEY

Nell is a young woman with adventure on her mind. As she sets out into the world, she finds her family history hard to escape. For her mother, Carmel, Nell's leaving home opens a space in her heart, where the turmoil of a lifetime begins to churn. Over them both falls the long shadow of Carmel's famous father, an Irish poet of beautiful words and brutal actions.

From our greatest chronicler of family life, The Wren, The Wren is a story of the love that can unite us, and the individual acts that threaten this vital bond.

'A triumph...treasure it' SUNDAY TIMES

'One of the great living writers on the subject of family' NEW YORK TIMES

'A must-read' MARGARET ATWOOD (on Twitter)

'Might just be Anne Enright's best yet' LOUISE KENNEDY
Imprint:   Jonathan Cape Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   407g
ISBN:   9781787334601
ISBN 10:   1787334600
Pages:   288
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Out of Print

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has written two collections of stories, published together as Yesterday's Weather, one book of non-fiction, Making Babies, and seven novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Forgotten Waltz, which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Green Road, which was the Bord Gais Energy Novel of the Year and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. She is also the recipient of the 2022 Irish Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Reviews for The Wren, The Wren: The Booker Prize-winning author

The Wren, The Wren is a magnificent novel. Anne Enright's stylistic brilliance seems to put the reader directly in touch with her characters and the rich territory of their lives -- Sally Rooney, author of NORMAL PEOPLE Masterful… The finest novel I have read in a long time * Daily Telegraph * A triumph… This is Enright’s best novel since The Gathering, and its absence from this year’s Booker longlist is nothing less than a miscarriage of literary justice. Readers must find it and treasure it regardless * Sunday Times * Shards of brilliance flash in every direction... Damn, Enright can write * The Times * Gritty, sad, sly, riotous... Gem-packed language that fizzes like a sidewalk firecracker. A must-read -- Margaret Atwood, author of THE HANDMAID'S TALE (via Twitter) These pages practically crackle with intelligence, compassion and wit. Phil McDaragh is so real I almost googled him. The Wren, The Wren might just be Anne Enright's best yet -- Louise Kennedy, author of Trespasses To call Anne Enright's new novel a moving, nuanced glimpse at three generations of Irish life underplays its thrilling expansiveness: in the end, The Wren, The Wren is an electrifying romp through language itself - its dizzying possibilities and satisfactions - led by one the most gifted writers working in English today -- Jennifer Egan, author of The Candy House Spellbinding… The Wren, the Wren is, like so much of Enright’s work, a supple scrutiny of familial relationships… We can feel how language, when it is sufficiently well arrayed, can cross the spaces between the page and the heart and, as Enright’s always does, hit home * Observer * One of our greatest living novelists * The Times * The unofficial rock star of literary fiction * Irish Times * Another exquisite read from the inimitable Booker prize-winning author * i * An astounding book. Anne Enright is the best living writer on the family and its difficult, disquieting intimacies, pulling back the sheets on sex and love, and meditating too on the complex inheritance of what it is to be an Irish writer -- Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City Vivid, voluble and deeply gratifying… The Booker-winner’s new novel is a finely tuned account of an Irish family and the traumas handed down across generations * Financial Times * Somehow both classic and thoroughly contemporary. Very few writers could capably achieve such a thing and I remain, as ever, in awe of Anne's talents -- Sara Baume, author of A Line Made by Walking Enright expertly arranges echos and juxtapositions to achieve both psychological depth and formal beauty… The text is studded with Phil’s poems – but the real poetry is to be found in Enright’s prose, which is on sparkling form throughout * Spectator * Tender, acutely observed, shocking at times. Enright perfectly captures the experience of a woman in her twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. Women rise throughout The Wren, The Wren, rising above abusive relationships and casual abandonment, sometimes inflicting violence on each other - but still rising into better times. Magnificent -- Priscilla Morris, author of Black Butterflies One of the most significant writers of her generation... A master * Sunday Times * A book of musical tenderness and devastating precision, The Wren, The Wren makes its own weather - whilst reading, your heart will work to Enright's beat -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars A slow-burning commentary on ancestry, love and longing, which leaves enough unsaid to truly captivate its reader * Independent * Alive and intricate, Enright's characters speak with a sharp-edged irony that opens into tenderness. As The Wren, The Wren unfolds, time does too. This is a humane and compulsive novel about the abandonments and reconciliations of love. Unsparing, witty, and full of hard-earned beauty -- Seán Hewitt, author of All Down Darkness Wide Anne Enright's style is as sharp and brilliant as Joan Didion's; the scope of her understanding is as wide as Alice Munro's; her vision of Ireland is as brave and original as Edna O'Brien's -- Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn I could not put this book down, and felt at a loss when I got to the end. A novel of great heft and intelligence, with that mix of wit, rage and great tenderness that is Enright's hallmark. In Nell I found the best depiction of the life and mind of a contemporary young woman I've read -- Mary Costello, author of Academy Street The Wren, The Wren is simultaneously all text, and all subtext, because Anne Enright is a genius whose novels function on several planes. She takes on major Irish literary genres but amplifies them, transcends them, arriving at a new place, which we shall call love, which we shall call life, which we shall even call joy -- Claire Kilroy, author of The Devil I Know For all Phil’s appalling behaviour, it is testament to Enright’s subtlety as an author that she portrays his legacy – as a poet and a father – in all its complexity, presenting a compelling and memorable portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that persists in the face of adversity * Sunday Express * I absolutely loved The Wren, The Wren. What an utterly wonderful novel! It got into my very bones. It's magnificent. Proof once again that Anne can do things with sentences that nobody else can -- Danielle McLaughlin, author of The Art of Falling Stylistically magnificent and profoundly moving, Enright blows our hearts and minds to smithereens once again with The Wren, The Wren. Full of humour, intellect, empathy and grace this multi-generational novel is singular in its vim, freshness and wit -- Helen Cullen, author of The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually Enright is still at the business of obliquely charting the course of change in Irish life… a wonderfully astute and idiosyncratic commentator, with an eye for an oddity * Literary Review *

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