Wednesday, March 29, 2006

the forgotten and beautiful maeve brennan an irish woman and a new yorker

a couple of years ago i read about this amazing irish writer Maeve Brennan and her sad story, below a link and a few stolen words from an article by Angela Bourke

"One morning in 1981, writers and editors arriving for work at the New Yorker's 43rd Street office found a very small woman in a long, untidy black skirt, with grey, unwashed hair, sitting in silence outside the office partition on the 20th floor.

One young editor, Mary Hawthorne, was intrigued enough to question colleagues about the visitor. She learned that the unkempt old lady was Maeve Brennan, once a glamorous star writer on the magazine, lately blighted by mental illness.

Brennan sat silently in the office until evening and returned the next day. Then she disappeared and Hawthorne never saw her again. Brennan was an Irishwoman and a New Yorker; an intellectual and a beauty. She dazzled everyone she met and wrote some of the finest and most widely read English prose of the 20th century, yet in her lifetime, when Irish writers were celebrated as never before, she was practically unknown in her own country."

Maeve wrote among other stories
The Springs of Affection: Stories of Dublin

she also lived an apparently tortured and secret romance with Philip Larkin, and wrote this book The Philip Larkin I Knew

read the complete on-line version of this sad story here
Maeve Brennan

also a review link from The Observer (Guardian Unlimited Books) of Angela Bourke's book
Maeve Brennan: Homesick at The New Yorker