Aisling Maguire

Life
1958- ; b. Dublin; ed. Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, and UCD (English); community education project teacher, Dublin; stories in Irish Press, Irish Times, Evening Herald, Raven Introduction 4, and Regent International Magazine; also first novel, Breaking Out (1996).

 

Works
Breaking Out (Belfast: Blackstaff 1996), 193pp.

 

Commentary
Blackstaff Catalogue (1996) gives an account of Breaking Out (1996): Eleanor Leyden, rebel and ‘girl that spells trouble’; communist parents killed in car crash, and she herself maimed; fostered with O’Driscolls; stifled by their middle-class Catholic values; becomes stonemason and seeks solace in forbidden love affair that entraps her further; flight inspired by two women, Aunt Katherine and precocious school-friend Louise, with whom she share the ‘exhilaration of departure’ in France and Greece; amid shift of relations towards rivalry and desire learns to face the world ‘herself, clear, alone’.

Aubrey Malone, Books Ireland (Sept. 1996), p.226, noting stilted conversation and stylistic excesses: ‘the characters in this book speak in quotations; ... impressive debut, nonetheless’.

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References
Blackstaff Book of Short Stories (Belfast: Blackstaff 1988) contains “First Fish” and “Spinning Sisters”.

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