The Best Of Frank O'connor by Frank O'ConnorThe Best Of Frank O'connor by Frank O'Connor

The Best Of Frank O'connor

byFrank O'ConnorIntroduction byJulian Barnes

Hardcover | June 9, 2009

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The most generous one-volume collection ever published of short stories, autobiographical writings,poetry, and essays by the writer Yeats called “Ireland’s Chekhov.”


Selected and arranged thematically by Julian Barnes, the rich mix of writings in The Best of Frank O’Connor starts off with his most famous short story, “Guests of the Nation,” set during the Irish War of Independence; chronicles his childhood with an alcoholic father and protective mother; and traces his literary influences in brilliant essays on Joyce and Yeats. O’Connor’s wonderfully polyphonic tales of family, friendship, and rivalry are set beside those that bring to life forgotten souls on the fringes of society. O’Connor’s writings about Ireland vividly evoke the land he called home, while other stories probe the hardships and rewards of Irish emigration. Finally, we see O’Connor grappling, in both fiction and memoir, with the largest questions of religion and belief.


The Best of Frank O’Connor is a literary monument to a truly great writer.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

About The Author

Frank O’Connor (1903–1966) was born in Cork, Ireland. The author of plays, stories, criticism, and poetry, he was also a director of the legendary Abbey Theatre in Dublin.Julian Barnes was born in England in 1946. Three of his novels have been short-listed for the Booker Prize.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Best Of Frank O'connorFormat:HardcoverDimensions:712 pages, 8.3 × 5.3 × 1.4 inPublished:June 9, 2009Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307269043

ISBN - 13:9780307269041

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Select Bibliography
About the Editor

1. WAR
Guests of the Nation
Jumbo’s Wife
September Dawn
Machine-Gun Corps in Action
Soirée Chez une Belle Jeune Fille
From An Only Child — The Fight for Freedom
From The Big Fellow: Michael Collins and the Irish Revolution
From My Father’s Son — A Case of Hypnotism

My Oedipus Complex
From An Only Child — Mother
The Genius
First Confession
From Writing a Story — One Man’s Way
The Study of History
From An Only Child — A Love of Heights
The Man of the World
From An Only Child — The Bandsmen
The Cornet Player Who Betrayed Ireland

Introduction to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
From James Joyce: A Post-Mortem
From My Father’s Son — George Russell and W. B. Yeats
From Leinster, Munster and Connaught — Yeats
Centenary Address at the Graveside of W. B. Yeats
From Leinster, Munster and Connaught — The Tailor and Anstey

The Procession of Life
The Majesty of the Law
After Fourteen Years
May Night
There is a Lone House
The Bridal Night
A Bachelor’s Story
Lonely Rock

A Learned Mistress
Advice to Lovers
I am Stretched on Your Grave
A Word of Warning
A Grey Eye Weeping
From My Father’s Son — Yeats as Editor
From Irish Miles — Father and Son
From Leinster, Munster and Connaught —
—Cork and Mental Age of Cities
From The Backward Look
From Holiday Magazine

From My Father’s Son — First Fiction
From The Saint and Mary Kate
The Luceys
Fish for Friday
Old-Age Pensioners
A Thing of Nothing
News for the Church
The Mad Lomasneys
In the Train

The Babes in the Wood
The Paragon
Darcy in the Land of Youth
The American Wife
A Story by Maupassant
The Conversion
The Late Henry Conran
Michael’s Wife
From My Father’s Son — The American Liner

From Leinster, Munster and Connaught — Monastery
Song without Words
‘The Star that Bids the Shepherd Fold’
The Frying-Pan
This Mortal Coil
The Wreath
From An Only Child — Grandmother
The Long Road to Ummera
From My Father’s Son — Tim Trayner
The Mass Island