Lara Harte

Life
1975- ; b. Dublin; dg. John Harte and Celia de Fréine; debut novel First Time (1996), published while still a student at UCD student, concerns Cassandra, school-girl, at primary and secondary school, a misfit who feels herself at odds with classmates, and befriends an under-achieving girl called Emma but encounters disaster when Paul (Emma’s boyfriend) falls for her; Losing It (1999), in which Merle becomes obsessed with learning why her sister Corinne, visiting from London, tries to kill herself; also Wild Geese (2003); lives in Dublin.

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Works
First Time (London: Phoenix House 1996), 160pp.; Losing It (Dublin: Phoenix House 1999), 237pp.; Wild Geese (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson 2003; Pheonix 2004), 256pp.

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Commentary
Books Ireland (April 1996), Interview tells how she wrote the novel during an unsatisfactory year at Rathmines College of Communications on finishing school with leaving cert. at 16; contacted Phoenix and was immediately taken up by publisher Maggie McKernan, who publishes Colm McCann and Michael Collins; advance of £6,000. (p.81.)

John Dunne, Books Ireland (May 1996), reviewing First Time, writes: ‘a banal litany that comes nowhere near what the blurb calls an unforgettable introduction [...] &c.’; considers it should be issued a paperback for teenagers of the character’s age. (p.129.)

Sue Leonard, Books Ireland (Sept. 1999), fears that Harte is ‘losing it’ with her latest novel (Losing It, 1999), and notes the circularity of the narrative and the non-shock ending.

John Kenny, reviewing Wild Geese (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), with of Catherine Dunne, Another Kind of Life (Picador), in The Irish Times (15 Feb. 2003), “Weekend” [sect.], speaks of current predeliction for writing virtual history, and cites Emma Donoghue, Anne Haverty, Mary Morrissey, and Anne Enright. (p.11.)

 

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