Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: Actress (March 2024)

By Anne Enright

March 14, 2024

From the Man Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths.

This is the story of Irish theatre legend, Katerine O’Dell, as written by her daughter Norah.  It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London’s West End.  Katherine’s life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.

But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine’s past, or the world’s damage.  In the declining years of her middle age, Norah’s mother commits a senseless crime.  Actress is about a daughter’s search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad.

Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives.  A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required