Nuala O'Faolain (author); A RADIANT LIFE; Abrams Image (Nonfiction: Literary Collections, Nonfiction: Literary Collections) $18.95 ISBN: 9780810998063
Byline: Julie Eakin
The late journalist Nuala O'Faolain, (Oh-FWAY-lawn) was prized in her native Ireland for good reason. Unafraid of correlating political and private issues in her columns for the Irish Times, she trained her light on the daily lives of her most unremarkable countrymen, thereby conferring grace upon their many concerns and rare triumphs, all in "the effort to tell a more complex truth."
A Radiant Life collects O'Faolain's work from 1986 through 2007, a period that follows the country through a surging economic tidal wave and consequent growing pains toward a prosperity she didn't live to see diminish again. Witnessing the "Disneyfication" of her beloved, solitary landscape, she never begrudged the poor farmers who sold their fields to developers, just as she honored the purest leaders within the Catholic faith while decrying the corporal punishment and sexual abuse condoned throughout her own childhood education.
Of particular concern to her were the ways in which women almost necessarily lead subjugated lives, with examples ranging from Princess Diana to the female Travellers, or gypsies, in Dublin. When O'Faolain ventured into the north to live for a while at her...