Kate O'Brien entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Kate O'Brien, twentieth-century Irish writer, was successively a journalist, playwright, novelist, essayist, travel writer, and biographer. She was, she said, "influenced by the singing voice and by dance music. Masefield said, 'Don't despise dance music; it is the music hearts break to.'" Bibliographic Citation link. Her fiction often focuses on an Irish female protagonist's search for love and freedom. She shows such a quest as generally unsuccessful: love does not prove lasting, and spiritual and physical freedom often turn out to be mutually incompatible.
3 December 1897 KOB was born at Limerick in Ireland, the seventh of nine children, four of them girls. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1940 KOB, posting a letter late on a rainy evening in the London blackout, felt suddenly "invaded by what seemed to be an entire novel which I was one day to write and which was to be called That Lady." Bibliographic Citation link.
By late 1946 KOB published the novel which until recent feminist re-discovery of her was probably her best-known, the historical fiction That Lady. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 August 1974 KOB died in hospital at Canterbury in England. Bibliographic Citation link.
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