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Miss Emily (Paperback)

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    Staff Reviews

    A quiet domestic turned raucous, Nuala O'Connor's re-imagining of the private life of Emily Dickinson humanizes and warms an always mystifying literary figure. Between the perspectives of Emily and her recently emigrated, Irish maid Ada, O'Connor paints a sympathetic portrait while balancing mid-19th century American class clashes. Emily's world increasingly shrinks to words, white, and shades of light, but she never loses sight of her new confidant. While Ada's world grows dangerously larger, she'll need Emily's help to survive. Full of curt, gorgeous prose and period detail, Miss Emily peers underneath the domestic to the lives it comprises. (Ashanti)

    — From Ashanti

    July 2015 Indie Next List

    “Conjure an image of Emily Dickinson: brilliant, but dour and odd? No! In O'Connor's gem of a novel, Miss Emily is spirited and witty, even brave. Emily befriends Ada Concannon, who was hired as the Dickinsons' kitchen girl almost immediately after she arrived from Ireland. Their unlikely friendship quickly provides each with solace and strength in a world where women are often marginalized. Later, an act of raw violence will ripple outward, resulting in consequences that neither Ada nor Emily could ever have imagined. O'Connor has written a small, hope-filled masterpiece!”
    — Christopher Rose (M), Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA


    An Amazon Canada Best Book of the Year, the American debut of an award-winning Irish writer that brings to life Emily Dickinson and will enthrall fans of Longbourn and Mrs. Poe and the film A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson.

    Nuala O'Connor's enchanting American debut novel, Miss Emily, reimagines the private life of Emily Dickinson, one of America's most beloved poets, through her own voice and through the eyes of her family's Irish maid.

    Eighteen-year-old Ada Concannon has just been hired by the respected but eccentric Dickinson family of Amherst, Massachusetts. Despite their difference in age and the upstairs-downstairs divide, Ada strikes up a deep friendship with Miss Emily, the gifted elder daughter living a spinster's life at home. But Emily's passion for words begins to dominate her life. She will wear only white and avoids the world outside the Dickinson homestead. When Ada's safety and reputation are threatened, however, Emily must face down her own demons in order to help her friend, with shocking consequences.

    About the Author

    Nuala O'Connor is the author of Miss Emily and a well-regarded short-story writer and novelist in her native Ireland, writing under the name Nuala Ní Chonchúir, and has won many fiction awards, including RTÉ radio's Francis MacManus Award, the Cúirt New Writing Prize, the Jane Geske Award, the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award, and the Cecil Day Lewis Award, among others. Her short story "Peach" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she was shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature for her short story collection Nude. She was born in Dublin in 1970 and lives in East Galway with her husband and three children.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780143126751
    ISBN-10: 014312675X
    Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
    Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
    Pages: 256
    Language: English