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The Little Red Chairs
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2016
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Description

A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal from the 2018 winner of the PEN/ Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.
One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.
Then, one morning, the illusion is abruptly shattered. While en route to pay tribute at Yeats's grave, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. The Cloonoila community is devastated by this revelation, and no one more than Fidelma, who is made to pay for her deviance and desire. In disgrace and utterly alone, she embarks on a journey that will bring both profound hardship and, ultimately, the prospect of redemption.
Moving from Ireland to London and then to The Hague, THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is Edna O'Brien's first novel in ten years — a vivid and unflinching exploration of humanity's capacity for evil and artifice as well as the bravest kind of love.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/29/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316266383
ASIN:
B0112T4YK4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Edna O'Brien. (2016). The Little Red Chairs. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Edna O'Brien. 2016. The Little Red Chairs. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Edna O'Brien, The Little Red Chairs. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Edna O'Brien. The Little Red Chairs. Little, Brown and Company, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
2624a178-07ed-9342-389a-c65f81483147
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:07:48
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 18:07:48
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 25, 2021 11:51:53
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 19, 2021 11:29:25
Last Availability Check:
Jul 25, 2021 11:51:57
Last Availability Change:
May 16, 2021 10:37:48
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jul 30, 2021 02:28:23

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A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal, from one of the greatest storytellers of our time
One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.
Then, one morning, the illusion is abruptly shattered. While en route to pay tribute at Yeats's grave, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. The Cloonoila community is devastated by this revelation, and no one more than Fidelma, who is made to pay for her deviance and desire. In disgrace and utterly alone, she embarks on a...
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fullDescription

A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal from the 2018 winner of the PEN/ Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.
One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.
Then, one morning, the illusion is abruptly shattered. While en route to pay tribute at Yeats's grave, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. The Cloonoila community is devastated by this revelation, and no one more than Fidelma, who is made to pay for her deviance and desire. In disgrace and utterly alone, she embarks on a journey that will bring both profound hardship and, ultimately, the prospect of redemption.
Moving from Ireland to London and then to The Hague, THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is Edna O'Brien's first novel in ten years — a vivid and unflinching exploration of humanity's capacity for evil and artifice as well as the bravest kind of love.

sortTitle
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 9, 2015
        In a melodramatic (and appropriate) opening, it is a “dark and stormy night” when stranger Vladimir Dragan arrives in Cloonoila, a small village in rural Ireland. Handsome, white-bearded Vlad calls himself a poet and healer. He ingratiates himself into the community, offering rejuvenating massages. An Irish village is, of course, O’Brien’s (The Love Object) traditional domain, and as usual she conveys the close, warm, slightly claustrophobic web of small-town relationships. Vlad is eventually revealed as “the Beast of Bosnia,” a ruthless military leader responsible for thousands of deaths in the recent genocide. But meanwhile, Fidelma McBride, a beautiful, sexually starved young woman married to an older man, is transfixed by Vlad’s charismatic personality. She abandons discretion and arranges trysts so that Vlad can fulfill her yearning to have a child. Tragedy ensues: Fidelma loses her marriage, her self-respect, and is forced to leave Cloonoila. The scene shifts to a vibrantly intense London, where a penniless Fidelma must take menial jobs. Vlad’s trial for war crimes in The Hague is another jarringly effective shift of scene; it serves as the culmination of his victims’ harrowing memories, which are scattered throughout the narrative. (The title refers to the 11,541 empty chairs set out in Sarajevo in 2012 as a national monument to represent people killed during the siege by Bosnian Serb forces.) Against this dark subterranean thread O’Brien interjects lines from classic poets—Virgil, Yeats, Byron, Dickinson—who attest to the enduring power of love. Fidelma’s eventual redemption seems forced, but O’Brien’s eerily potent gaze into the nature of evil is haunting. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 15, 2016
        An Irish town is touched by the war crimes in Sarajevo when an outsider sleeps with a local woman and she's driven by shame and brutality into exile. Wearing a long dark coat and white gloves, the mysterious Vladimir Dragan arrives in Cloonoila, a backwater of western Ireland, sometime after 2012. He says he's from Montenegro and asserts that there are links between Ireland and the Balkans. He soon sets up shop as an alternative healer and sex therapist. For 40-year-old Fidelma, who's suffered two failed pregnancies and no longer expects much from her older husband, Vlad may be a last chance. She and the rest of Cloonoila don't know he's a wanted war criminal based on Radovan Karadzic, the man behind the siege of Sarajevo, where 11,541 red chairs were set out to commemorate the siege's victims in 2012, including 643 of the title's little red chairs for children killed. When men pursuing Vlad brutally abort Fidelma's new pregnancy, she chooses exile in London, joining the streams of refugees moving all over Europe, the unending diaspora fueled by war, fundamentalism, hatred. Some are among the half-dozen nationalities of the staff at Cloonoila's hotel who trade personal stories of displacement on a veranda after midnight. Fidelma also will hear refugees' tales in a makeshift London shelter run by a Sarajevo survivor where "the flotsam of the world" gather to share their narratives. As O'Brien (The Love Object, 2015, etc.) brought the larger world to Cloonoila through Vlad, she ends by giving her West Country woman a seat at Vlad's war-crimes trial. O'Brien's writing in this rich, wrenching book can be both lyrical and hard-edged, which suits a world where pain shared or a tincture of kindness can help ease the passage from losses.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2016
        While O'Brien retains every element of her gorgeous writingsignificantly, a mastery of relevant detail, expressed with eloquence, precision, and passion as she limns individual struggles to safeguard personal dignity in the face of uncertain love, romantic and familialher new novel nevertheless expands her domain beyond the usual Irish and English contexts of her previous fiction. It places the theme of community outcast, which certainly is not new to her, in a more geopolitical situation than she has explored before. As the story opens, a stranger comes to town (the second predominant theme upon which the narrative rests), namely Cloonoila, Ireland. The stranger is Dr. Vladimir Dragon, who bills himself as an alternative healer and sex therapist hailing from Montenegro. Beautiful Fidelma McBride, married and trying to conceive, goes to him for treatment and succumbs to his seductiveness. Circumstances erupt that reveal Dr. Vlad as a wanted mana Serbian war criminal, the former president, in fact. Echoing the treatment of Nazi collaborators at the end of WWII, Fidelma's disgrace is complete and life-threatening. Dark fairy-tale threads give the story a magic-realism effect, but ultimately this novel, the author's twenty-fourth book, is starkly realistic. O'Brien speaks to contemporary political violence in a suitably audible voice. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Select appearances by this revered writer along with a major national television, print, radio, and online publicity campaign will herald her latest novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        In this new novel from award-winning Irish author O'Brien, Fidelma McBride is crazy about Vlad, a healer from Eastern Europe who has settled in her remote Irish village. Then he's arrested--actually, he's a war criminal--and she flees first to London, then more bravely to his trial at the Hague, where she must confront him. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2016

        Dr. Vlad Dragan, a holistic healer from the Balkans, arrives in the western Irish village of Cloonoila and quickly becomes its cure; married but childless, Fidelma McBride enlists the mysterious doctor to impregnate her. As the tale of their affair circulates, Dragan disappears, and a bereft Fidelma is devastated to learn that he is accused of the deaths of thousands during the Siege of Sarajevo (1991-96) and has been sent to the Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity. Rejected by her husband, Fidelma flees first to London, where she attempts to re-create her life as a refugee, and then to the Hague to settle matters with Dragan, assured of nothing except the vastness of his evil. Having lost her home, husband, and ideals, Fidelma opens herself to new possibilities, including hope. VERDICT This 18th novel from O'Brien (Saints and Sinners) delivers noble truths as well as atrocities. Her fictional depiction of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic will chill readers not only because it convincingly exposes the egoism of a rational madman but also because these horrors happened. O'Brien's mastery of symbolism and natural description remain unmatched in modern fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/14/15.]--John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2016

        Dr. Vlad Dragan, a holistic healer from the Balkans, arrives in the western Irish village of Cloonoila and quickly becomes its cure; married but childless, Fidelma McBride enlists the mysterious doctor to impregnate her. As the tale of their affair circulates, Dragan disappears, and a bereft Fidelma is devastated to learn that he is accused of the deaths of thousands during the Siege of Sarajevo (1991-96) and has been sent to the Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity. Rejected by her husband, Fidelma flees first to London, where she attempts to re-create her life as a refugee, and then to the Hague to settle matters with Dragan, assured of nothing except the vastness of his evil. Having lost her home, husband, and ideals, Fidelma opens herself to new possibilities, including hope. VERDICT This 18th novel from O'Brien (Saints and Sinners) delivers noble truths as well as atrocities. Her fictional depiction of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic will chill readers not only because it convincingly exposes the egoism of a rational madman but also because these horrors happened. O'Brien's mastery of symbolism and natural description remain unmatched in modern fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/14/15.]--John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
709
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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