Publisher: Jonathan Cape: Random House
Length: 261 Pages
About: A sister understanding her brother
Style: 1st & 3rd person
Where: Dublin Ireland and Engalnd
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what
happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. His sister Veronica was there then, as she is now: keeping the dead man company, just for another little while.
Alcohol wrecked him, as it does. But I am trying to put a time on it – when I stopped worrying about him and started to worry about his drinking instead. Maybe then – with my new baby opening her
eyes, over and over, as if to check that the world was still there. That was probably the moment. Just then.
There is something livid and much that is stunning about The Gathering, which deservedly won this year's Man Booker Prize. Anger brushes off every page, a species of rage that aches to confront
silence and speak truth at last.
Washington Post Peter Behrens, October 21, 2007
Not so good:
Anne Enright does not seem fully aware of it, just as she seems unaware that a first-person narrator cannot convincingly relate those omniscient third-person flash-backs, or that the story line
depends on the rickety device of making Veronica withhold for purely structural reasons a secret she knows all along. There are some quite good set-piece scenes, and a valid attempt to show “a family
– a whole f***ing country – drowning in shame”, but, God, it’s wearing.
The Sunday Times May 27th 2007 Hugo Barnacle
About the author
Anne Enright FRSL (born 11 October 1962) is an Irish author. She graduated from the University of East Anglia's Creative Writing Course. She lives in Bray, County Wicklow, with her husband and
children. Enright was a television producer and director for RTÉ in Dublin for six years.
She was a producer for the ground-breaking RTÉ programme Nighthawks for four years. She then worked in children's programming for two years and wrote at the weekends. Enright began writing
full-time in 1993.
Her full-time career as a writer came about when she left television due to a breakdown, later remarking: "I recommend it [...] having a breakdown early. If your life just falls apart early on,
you can put it together again. It's the people who are always on the brink of crisis who don't hit bottom who are in trouble."