“Arresting . . . Enright composes stories that tend to be straightforward, featuring working-class women with recognizable difficulties: infidelity, boredom, motherhood . . . the change of life or the absence of change. . . . Is Enright a grim writer? Not really. There is mischief in these stories, and some of them are quite funny, though a world-weary wisdom is the recurrent note.”Christopher Benfey, The New York Times Book Review
978-0-8021-4432-4 • $14.00 • Paperback • June 2009
“Astonishing: moving, emotionally accurate, sly, and laugh-out-loud funny at times . . . Enright completely inhabits these characters.”Elaina Richardson, O, The Oprah Magazine
Extraordinary stories of loveromantic or familial, triumphant and tragicfrom the Man Booker Prizewinning, New York Times best-selling author whom the Los Angeles Times has called “part of a remarkable generation of Irish writers who have helped transform their country’s literature.” Winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Anne Enright’s novel The Gathering went on to become a national best seller acclaimed for its electrifying prose“percussive one moment, liquid the next” (The Boston Globe)and haunting emotional resonance. Now, in Yesterday’s Weather, Enright presents a series of deeply moving glimpses into the lives of ordinary men and women struggling with the bonds of love, family, and community in an increasingly disconnected and transient world.
The stories in Yesterday’s Weather show us a rapidly changing Ireland, a land of family and tradition, but also, increasingly, of organic radicchio, cruise-ship vacations, and casual betrayals. An artisan farmer seethes at the patronage of a former Catholic-school classmate, now a successful restaurateur; a bride cuckolds her rich husband with an old college frienda madman who won’t take his pills, disappears for weeks at a time, and plays the piano like a dream. Still more startling than loss or deception are the ways in which people respond to them: a wife eaten up by rage at her husband’s infidelity must weigh the real stakes after his affair takes a tragic turn; confronted with a similar situation, a woman decides to cheat with, rather than against, her man. Sharp, tender, never predictable, their sum is a rich tapestry of people struggling to find contentment with one anotherand with themselves.
Anne Enright has given us a rich collection of stories of loss and yearning, of the ordinary defeats and unexpected delights that grow out of the bonds between husbands and wives, mothers and children, and intimate strangers. Yesterday’s Weather exhibits the arresting, unforgettable images and upsets, the subversive wit, and the awkward tenderness that mark Anne Enright as one of the most thrillingly gifted writers of our time.