By Frank O'Connor
Frank O’Connor’s acclaimed autobiography, now in a single volume
When Frank O’Connor used to be born, his parents—Minnie O’Connor, a former maid raised in an orphanage, and Michael O’Donovan, a veteran of the Boer conflict and the drummer in an area brass-and-reed band—lived above a sweet-and-tobacco store in Cork, eire. The younger kin quickly moved, even if, to a two-room cottage on the best of Blarney road, a lane that originates, as O’Connor so vividly describes it, “near the river-bank, in sordidness, and ascends the hill to anything like squalor.” From this not going starting, a bad boy born Michael Francis Xavier O’Donovan set out at the outstanding trip that reworked him into Frank O’Connor, one in all Ireland’s maximum writers.
An basically baby, the 1st installment of O’Connor’s splendidly evocative autobiography, captures the enjoyment and discomfort of his early years: pleasure within the colourful humans and areas of Cork and in his committed dating together with his mom, soreness within the family’s impoverished scenario and in his father’s depression moods and drunken outbursts. Fifteen years previous whilst he joins the Irish Republican military within the struggle for independence, O’Connor reveals himself at the wasting facet of the resultant civil warfare and is imprisoned by means of the govt of the hot state. My Father’s Son starts off along with his unlock from an internment camp and follows him to Dublin and the world-renowned Abbey Theatre, the place he meets W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, and different participants of the Irish Literary Revival, and takes the 1st steps towards turning into one of many 20th century’s such a lot loved authors.
As richly designated and eloquent because the better of his brief fiction, Frank O’Connor’s autobiography is an wonderful portrait of a desirable time and position, and the inspiring account of a tender artist discovering his voice.
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Extra resources for An Only Child and My Father's Son: The Autobiography
And I am not sure, still, that ever since 1939 we haven’t had war, a knowledge that everything could be over before we heard the bang—so why count on, or be accountable to, anything as stupid as ordinary life? Was that what it was all about? The fear of being ordinary? And was that what Dad and I had in common beyond the same know-all attitudes and the moment when our faces twisted in stammering? I grew into a terrible anger over it, so that I sometimes wonder whether all my capacity for anger was drawn off into that feeling about my father and his lies.
I hardly knew what to call it. But this bounteous farm, so English in so many ways, lacked a lavatory or modern plumbing. At the end of the garden—ruining the garden’s potential as such—there was a shed, a seat, and piles of old newspaper. And a hole in the ground. One seat for the crowded house. One lightbulb. And the full stink of purpose. At my tender age, I had no squeamishness about being or acting spoiled. “The privy is awful,” I said. “I should say so,” said my mother, and she looked a couple of years younger on the spot.
And there she was—Sally—in the doorway, watching us. qxp:. 12/9/08 4:22 PM Try to Tell the Story Page 23 23 grown-up kid—ten or eleven. She was a silhouette against the light from the hall, and she leaned against the doorpost. She seemed to me very grown-up. “She’s there,” I told my mum. ” And then there was just Sally’s bells of laughter—butcher laughter, it seemed to me—and I was asleep. My mother had this fabulous thing, and she gave it to me as a toy. “You’re a liar,” said Sally. ” “I’m not,” I said.
An Only Child and My Father's Son: The Autobiography by Frank O'Connor