Throughout her career, contemporary Irish writer Edna O'Brien has published novels, short stories, drama, screen and teleplays, poetry, travel writing, and children's books. Her imaginative writing, in which she experiments with linguistic and narrative conventions, almost always presents a woman's perspective. She often deals with such themes as personal and national identity, love affairs, exile, memory, and death. She is not a writer who caters to her readers' comfort, but concentrates steadily on the darker sides of life.
12 August 1996 Thirty-six years after The Country Girls, EOB published another hard-hitting Irish novel, Down by the River, which considers the troubled intersections of personal, state, and religious concerns.