In this highly original and genre-defying book, Edith Newman Devlin remembers her childhood in Dublin in the 1930s and the 1940s as a poor Protestant living among even poorer Catholics. She tells of her strange home in the gate lodge of Jonathan Swift's hospital for the insane, and of her increasingly strained relationship with her devoted and undemonstrative father. Reading was to be her salvation, and in novels like "Jane Eyre", "Hard Times" and "Anna Karenina", she found her own inarticulate experience better understood and better expressed. Pithy, illuminating commentaries on the emotional truth of great literature alternate with chapters of strong personal memoir to make this unique book as universal in its reach as it is individual in its telling.
Edith Newman Devlin was born in 1926 and educated in Dublinat Alexandra College and Trinity College. She was awarded anMBE for services to literature in 1988 and an honorary D.Litt.from Queen's University Belfast in 1993, also for services toliterature. She has been a lecturer at Queen's University since1968. In 2008, she published Brief Encounters, a literary travelmemoir, with New Island.