Astray: Book summary and reviews of Astray by Emma Donoghue

Astray
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2012,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]he stories are vivid, curious, and honest...notable more for the historical moments they reconstruct than for the people who inhabit them." - Publishers Weekly

"Another exciting change of pace from the protean Donoghue." - Kirkus

"Working in a different vein from the wrenching Room, Donoghue has created masterly pieces that show what short fiction can do. Not just for devotees of the form." - Library Journal

"Time and again, Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before, and Astray is no exception. There is such a deep and compassionate imagination at work in every story in this collection that Astray feels almost like an act of clairvoyance." - Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder

"Emma Donoghue is one of the great literary ventriloquists of our time. Her imagination is kaleidoscopic. She steps borders and boundaries with great ease and style. In her hands the centuries dissolve, and then they crystallize back again into powerful words on the page." - Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Diane S.
Astray
Old newspaper articles, snippets of interest, places visited, all become fodder for these amazing stories by Donoghue. Usually when reading a book of short stories there are always some that are my favorites, some I don't like and some I just don't get, but in this book I really enjoyed them all. That she explains were she got the idea for the story was an extra bonus and a welcome one. Some of the subjects of her stories are the characters often found on the fringes of our society, or strange characters or just those that are lost. Really enjoyed this book and recommend for all short story readers.

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Author Information

Emma Donoghue Author Biography

Emma Donoghue is an award-winning Irish writer who lives in Canada. At 38, she has published seven novels, three books of short stories, two works of literary history, two anthologies and two plays.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on 24 October 1969, Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in...

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