An Only Child and My Father's Son: The Autobiography by Frank O'Connor

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 battle and the drummer in a neighborhood brass-and-reed band—lived above a sweet-and-tobacco store in Cork, eire. The younger kinfolk quickly moved, even if, to a two-room cottage on the best of Blarney highway, a lane that originates, as O’Connor so vividly describes it, “near the river-bank, in sordidness, and ascends the hill to whatever like squalor.” From this not going starting, a negative boy born Michael Francis Xavier O’Donovan set out at the outstanding trip that reworked him into Frank O’Connor, one in every of Ireland’s maximum writers.

An in simple terms 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 dedicated courting together with his mom, soreness within the family’s impoverished state of affairs and in his father’s depression moods and drunken outbursts. Fifteen years outdated while he joins the Irish Republican military within the struggle for independence, O’Connor reveals himself at the wasting part of the resultant civil conflict and is imprisoned by means of the govt. of the recent country. My Father’s Son starts off together with his free up 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 changing into one of many 20th century’s so much cherished authors.

As richly distinct and eloquent because the better of his brief fiction, Frank O’Connor’s autobiography is an enjoyable portrait of a desirable time and position, and the inspiring account of a tender artist discovering his voice.

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Indd 46 7/13/12 10:47 AM the dog li v ed ( A n d S o W i l l I ) 47 behaved well, since that was always a distinct possibility. That would be better—­just a complaint about his howling, not a medical issue. But I knew that wouldn’t be the case. I knew because I’d seen this expression before, in this office. “The doctor would like to see you” is one of those statements like “We have to talk” that doesn’t bode well. And just back from a relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable four days on a Mexican beach with Chris, I wasn’t prepared for either statement.

And if I pinned the word relationship on it, wouldn’t it just turn sour? Wouldn’t we immediately become disappointed in each other? Wouldn’t the sex just stop and the fighting start? ) But the longer we dated, the harder the secret was to keep. We began telling people on a “need to know” basis. Chris’s parents, I was sure, were the last ones who would ever need to know. I felt strongly that they would not approve of our dating. Or, more to the point, they would not approve of me. I was pretty confident a woman twice divorced and twelve years older than their baby boy was not going to be welcome news.

I took a deep breath. “Both of my parents loved him. Of course. ” I smiled brightly, but under the table my hand was reaching for Chris’s thigh, as much a sign of affection as to stabilize myself. Or maybe I was claiming him. indd 39 7/13/12 10:47 AM 40 T eres a J . rh y ne “Well, I hope so. ” Trudi smiled back at me. I don’t think she could extend a claim on Chris from across the table. At least not physically. Except for my own internal monologue, I was unharmed by the end of brunch. I admitted as much to Chris.

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