Books676 entries

Emma Donoghue - Astray

Released: 25/10/2012 Picador

After enthralling almost everyone with her Fritzl-inspired RoomDonoghue returns to shorts and her inclination towards re-imagining the historical. Inspiration ranges from the letters of Dickens, to 17th-century court records of sex crimes from Massachusetts, but all these tales show an interest in people moving over to society’s periphery, often inadvertently.

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Guardian“Poignant, but sometimes perfunctory...” Their brevity can be frustrating. Donoghue's novels kindle imaginative worlds from the embers of forgotten lives, these are like sparks that flare and go out. Where the protagonists are intriguing rather than extraordinary, the stories take flight...
New York Times“Sensitive and intuitive...” Donoghue displays a ventriloquist’s uncanny ability to slip in and out of voices... Characters stray not only across geographical lines but those of law, sex, race. She reveals them all, in their places of exile, with gentle yet devastating truth..
70 %
The Independent“A neatly composed collection...” Bookending each story with a nugget of historical truth succeeds in driving on the curious reader, and it's like a series of satisfyingly tasty little snacks, even if the collection never quite adds up to anything substantial...
80 %
The Telegraph“An ingenious collection of dark true-life tales...” Donoghue’s method is inventive, generous and unusually fruitful; each story ends not with the pivotal incident her vivid fiction describes, but with an authorial postscript detailing the facts of the matter...
70 %
Publishers Weekly“Too short shorts...” By the time the stories set up the circumstances, they’re almost done, and we’re leaving characters we know as creatures of a time and place rather than individuals. But when Donoghue establishes a distinct voice, they're vivid and honest...
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