Tag Archives: Reviews

Becoming Belle Reviews

Becoming Belle

“Nuala O’Connor has the thrilling ability to step back nimbly and enter the deep dance of time?this is a hidden history laid luminously before us of an exultant Anglo-Irish woman navigating the dark shoals and the bright fields of a life.”

Sebastian Barry, award-winning author of The Secret Scripture and Days Without End

Becoming Belle is a glorious novel in which Belle Bilton and 19th century London are brought roaring to life with exquisite period detail. In her portrayal of Belle, Nuala O’Connor delivers a seductive study of a complex and fascinating woman, who deserves the stage provided for her in this wonderful book.”

Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of A Memory of Violets

“O’Connor has a genius for finding the universal and unifying life essence of seemingly diverse women as they nurture their deepest sensibilities and draw upon their enduring strength. … O’Connor’s rendering of a now little-known nineteenth-century music hall dancer in Becoming Belle is thrillingly dramatic and achingly moving and profoundly resonant into this present era.”

Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“Nuala O’Connor is a gifted writer who, with incandescent characters and mellifluous prose, captivates the reader with the same command as magnificent theatre. Becoming Belle is so mesmerizing you will be distraught when it ends and you remember that she lives no more. O’Connor has resurrected a fiery, inexorable woman who rewrites the script on a stage supposedly ruled by men. Sensual, witty, daring, and unapologetically forward, Belle Bilton and her cohorts will dance on in your mind long after the curtains fall.”

Lisa Carey, author of The Stolen Child

“A thoroughly engrossing and entertaining read. O’Connor’s meticulous attention to period detail and scrutiny of the upper classes and their shallow lives [is] reminiscent of Edith Wharton at her very best. It also makes us question whether women have ever really escaped from the censorious judgement of Victorian times.”

Liz Nugent, author of Unraveling Oliver

Joyride to Jupiter Reviews

“O’Connor’s language is clean and conscientious as well as poetic and lyrical, evident in the abstraction of “Yellow”. The collection exudes a quiet confidence and exercises the exemplary restraint of a seasoned writer who knows when to pull rather than push.”

Louisa Carroll The Sunday Times – 04-June-2017

“This blending of wry, caustic irreverence and meditative poignancy is central to the success of O’Connor’s storytelling. The mix is just right…”

Houman Barekat Irish Times – 10-June-2017

“Like a volume of rich poetry, this collection begs to be returned to again and again.”

Anne Cunningham Sunday Independent – 18-June-2017

“…Outstanding…”

Evening Echo – 23-June-2017

Continue reading Joyride to Jupiter Reviews

Miss Emily Reviews

The Noise of Time initially appears to be the latest addition to a hybrid literary form with which we are increasingly familiar – the fictional biography. Recent examples range from Colm Tóibin’s The Master (which presented a repressed and unhappy Henry James) to Nuala O’Connor’s excellent Miss Emily (which gave us a wilful and tormented Emily Dickinson).

Alex Preston, The Guardian

“…Irish writer Nuala O’Connor breathes new life into reclusive poet Emily Dickinson in her mesmerizing U.S. debut. Like one of Dickinson’s poems, the deceptively simple narrative packs a powerful punch…”

Margaret Flanagan in Booklist

“Miss Emily is a triumph of a novel, creating an utterly human and believable Emily Dickinson through the eyes of an enchanting and complex fictional Irish woman. Their story is smart and witty and harrowing and brilliantly revelatory of the interplay of life and inspiration in a nascent great artist. And all this is done in prose that has the same condensed, particularizing power of Dickinson’s poetry. Nuala O’Connor has long been one of my favorite contemporary Irish writers. She will certainly find an ardently admiring American audience with this extraordinary novel.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler

Continue reading Miss Emily Reviews

The Closet of Savage Mementos Reviews

“…raw, beautiful and compelling, a ‘must read’.”

Deirdre Conroy in The Sunday Independent

“…her finest novel yet.”

The Sunday Times

“Compelling and deeply accomplished, The Closet of Savage Mementos is the product of a powerful literary talent.”

The Evening Echo

“It is difficult to write sex well, but Ní Chonchúir manages to strike a delicate balance between passion and poetry.”

The Sunday Business Post

“…this engaging book…this most readable novel.”

Irish Independent

Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s characters and their relationships have about them that most precious and elusive quality: the ring of truth.’

Gerard Stembridge

Continue reading The Closet of Savage Mementos Reviews

Mother America Reviews

‘…the prose is measured and graceful, rich with delectable turns of phrase and vivid descriptions that seem to paralyse time… Over the past decade, Miss Ní Chonchúir has proven herself a prolific and diverse talent.’

Billy O’Callaghan, The Irish Examiner

‘…Ní Chonchúir, like Frida Kahlo, documents female lives in ripe, uncompromising detail. I was also reminded of Edna O’Brien to whose groundbreaking work most Irish women writers owe a debt. Ní Chonchúir’s precisely made but deliciously sensual stories mark her as a carrier of the flame.’

Cathy Dillon, The Irish Times

‘…Ní Chonchúir…immediately arrests the reader’s attention with jolting declarations, oddities and intriguingly out-of-place ideas…A short, satisfying read, Mother America offers shards of humour and solace in a collection primarily concerned with the complexities of love…in the difficult task of writing about sex, the author shows particular flair.’

Eithne Shortall, The Sunday Times

“The themes of loneliness and consolation re-emerge in many of the stories in Mother America, none more so than ‘When the Hearse Goes By’, a powerful examination of grief and succour…This collection is a neat and rigorous examination of character, and while it may not be as overwhelmingly groundbreaking as Mansfield or O’Connor, the detail and skill evident in each story merits as much acclaim.”

Éadaoín Lynch

“The stories in Mother America, a brand-new collection of writing from one of Ireland’s young stars, are emotionally, locationally, and temporally diverse, and Ní Chonchúir’s prose is both simple to read and beautiful to contemplate.”

Zach Hively
Alone at the Microphone

“The descriptions in these stories are rounded, lush and womanly. Flowers, sex in Paris, betrayal in Frida Kahlo’s life, the promises of children and the remains of such promises drop as dead as leverets from the split bellies of pregnant hares.
Ní Chonchúir’s stories … delineate the truth – that wishes for happy endings lead to fragile and transparent fates through which the past creeps back to take root.”

Órfhlaith Foyle
Author of SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA

You Reviews

‘…You deserves to find a place in our pantheon of much-admired, beautifully crafted variations on a theme’

Arminta Wallace, The Irish Times

‘…timeless, placeless and universal… a must read’

Yvonne Hogan, The Irish Independent

‘…a vivid and immediate sensory experience,…Ní Chonchúir’s ear – as you might expect of a poet – is alive to the language of her characters…it is about the ordinary, and the secret life that runs beneath it’

Kevin Power, The Sunday Business Post

‘The novel flows beautifully and is understated in tone…This gem is sure to win her further acclaim. Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a writer to watch.’

Sue Leonard, The Irish Examiner

‘…this novel uses plain prose, vivid detail, fresh images, and the delightful Dublin vernacular. You is a compelling story that brings to life complex characters and delivers hard-hitting truths.’

Ethel Rohan, Pank

‘Her prose is both dignifying and empowering to her subjects, and it is her psychological ableness which will mark Ní Chonchúir as a writer of significance.’

Rachel J. Fenton, Melusine

Tattoo : Tatú Reviews

‘Ní Chonchúir is an Irish poet whose work is both sensual and provocative, she bares her soul and examines the world around her in visceral and challenging ways.’

Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews

‘Ní Chonchúir’s poems possess a quiet self-assurance and the poise of style. She has the Chekhovian eye for detail and a gift for brevity and relevance.’

Cathal Ó Searcaigh, poet

‘Ní Chonchúir writes in both Irish and English. Not since Michael Hartnett has there been an Irish poet who works with such facility in both languages.’

POETRY INTERNATIONAL

‘Ní Chonchúir has a deft word-touch and is imaginative and resourceful with poetic ideas. [Her] work is vital and often funny and quirky, with a punchy diligence.’

KIOSQUE