“An eloquent writer . . . dazzlingly funny. . . . For Enright the recognizable dimensions of time, speech, and thought . . . are fluid and interchangeable, while metaphors often become the things they stand for. . . . [A] very powerful story.”Penelope Fitzgerald, The London Review of Books
What Are You Like?
978-0-8021-3889-7 • $14.00 • Paperback • May 2002
Anne Enright is one of Ireland’s most exciting new writers, a beguiling storyteller of warm humor and wry lyricism. Here she gives us her American debut, a novel of the fierce bonds of origin and the connections and disjunctions of family that will establish her as a wise, fresh voice in fiction.
At the beginning of What Are You Like? Berts, a new father, simultaneously struggles to love his baby daughter while mourning the wife who died giving her life. Raised in the shadow of his quiet grief, Maria finds herself at twenty in New York City, awash in nameless longing and falling in love with the wrong sort of man. Going through her lover’s things, she finds a photograph of herself aged twelve, in clothes she’s never worn, a place she’s never been. It will send her home to Ireland, to the slow unraveling of a secret that may prove more devastating than Berts’s long sadness, but more pregnant with possibility. Moving between Dublin, New York, and London, What Are You Like? is the story of a woman haunted by her missing self. Troubling and hilarious, it posits an unforgettable chaos theory of family, of daughters sent out into a world that is altered forever by their leaving, and of our helplessness nonetheless against our fierce connections to our homes and the people who give us life.