The Gathering: Book summary and reviews of The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Gathering

by Anne Enright

The Gathering by Anne Enright
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2007
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Anne Enright is a dazzling writer of international stature and one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new.

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him—something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968.

As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. The Gathering is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is a novel about love and disappointment, about how memories warp and secrets fester, and how fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

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Book Awards

  • award image Man Booker Prize, 2007

Reviews

Media Reviews

"A melancholic love and rage bubbles just beneath the surface of this Dublin clan, and Enright explores it unflinchingly." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. Enright's hypnotic prose turns her desperation into something fierce and beautiful." - Booklist.

"In a word: heavy. Or so you might think. But in this mystery of past causes, the transformative power of Enright's language keeps the story's freight from burdening the reader." - New York Times.

"A dreamy, melancholy swirl of a story, wise about the bonds and burdens linking children to each other and their grown selves." - Kirkus Reviews.

"In the supercharged beauty of her oddly brittle, spiky sentences, you hear the cadences of the incomparable Don DeLillo. . . . The penetrating exploration of domestic relationships, especially among women, calls to mind . . . Anne Tyler." - Newsday.

"Delivers with sharp wit and a huge heart." - Elle.

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Author Information

Anne Enright Author Biography

Photo: Domnick Walsh

Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. In 2007 she won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for her novel, The Gathering. She has also received the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and has been a writer fellow at Trinity College. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper's, The New Yorker, and The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction. She is also the author of  Yesterday's Weather, What Are You Like? and The Wig My Father Wore.

Name Pronunciation
Anne Enright: As it looks: en-right

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