Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

Led There By A Book Review


I think the only reason I've been reading Anne Enright these past fews years is the fact that I stopped to read a review James Wood wrote of her book, “What Are You Like?” seven years ago in the Guardian. Wood didn't meditate on how the book was original, but what the benefits of an original style actually are for readers. The piece is a marvel of description, and it's the closest I've seen any critic come to describing Enright's peculiar, entrancing lyricism.



“Anne Enright is a very original writer – a spry surrealist who challenges the world with extraordinary, lancing sentences. She is indeed a kind of mockingbird: she and her characters see life with a tart comedy which is briskly ascetic, sourly lucid and never quite accountable. It is partly that Enright uses words you do not expect her to use; more than this, she speeds up the connections between thoughts (one of Bergson's definitions of the comic) and between the sensations her unhappy characters experience. “