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An Only Child AND My Father's Son: An Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Frank O'Connor , Declan Kiberd
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

7 July 2005 Penguin Modern Classics
The first two volumes of O'Connor's autobiography. AN ONLY CHILD is the entrancing story of an Irish childhood and a youthful involvement in the Irish rebellion which leads to internment. In MY FATHER'S SON O'Connor is released after the Civil war to begin a turbulent career as a writer, sharing his life and loves in Dublin with characters as formidable as Yeats and Lennox Robinson.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141187913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141187914
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) is the author of such justly famous works as Guests of the Nation and First Confession and numerous other fine stories, including The Bridal Night, The Luceys, and The Long Road to Ummera. O'Connor published works of fiction and non-fiction continuously from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most recently his biography of Michael Collins, The Big Fellow, has been published by Picador.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As a matter of historical fact I know that I was born in 1903 when we were living in Douglas Street, Cork, over a small sweet-and-tobacco shop kept by a middle-aged lady called Wall, but my memories have nothing to do with living in Douglas Street. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Artist 1 Jun 2010
This is a five star read. The second book is maybe in quality terms four star, as it's a posthumous volume which would no doubt have been edited more tightly but in terms of enjoyment it is another stormer. The first book takes you through a very hard upbringing in Cork at the start of the 20th century. However, It doesn't dwell on the hardship which forms a background to the stumbling education of an unworldly boy in a harsh world. This being O'Connor narrating, it is all far more amusing than it sounds. He then proceeds into his simultaneous arrival in Cork's artistic community and the Civil War Republican army. As we move into his capture and internment, the start of his disillusionment with the Catholic Republican government is written large.

The second part has two streams - first his artistic life and his relationship with two older men AE and Yeats and secondly his relationship with his father. The stories of Dublin gossip, backbiting and again of the slow freeze from de Valera's repressive government are utterly fascinating. It comes to an abrupt end with Yeats' death. It's just a shame he didn't live to complete it.
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