Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman

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Riverhead Books, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 275 pages
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In 1996, a small Irish press approached Nuala O'Faolain, then a writer for "The Irish Times," to publish a collection of her opinion columns. She offered to compose an introduction for the volume, and that undertaking blossomed into an "accidental memoir of a Dublin woman" and a book called "Are You Somebody?" that was published around the world and embraced so wholeheartedly in the U.S. that it reached the number-one position on the "New York Times" bestseller list and launched Nuala O'Faolain on a new career.
Hailed universally for her unflinching eye ("A beautiful exploration of human loneliness and happiness, of contentment and longing."-Alice McDermott, "The Washington Post Book World"); her wisdom ("A remarkable memoir, poignant, truthful, and imparting that quiet wisdom which suffering brings."-Edna O'Brien); and her boldness ("An immensely courageous undertaking."-"The Irish Times"), "Are You Somebody?" took readers from O'Faolain's harrowing childhood, through decades defined by passion and a ferocious hunger for experience, to a middle age notable for its unbroken solitude and longing. The success of the book's publication robbed O'Faolain of her obscurity, but the traits that defined her life remained obstinately intact.
"In Almost There," O'Faolain begins her story from the moment her life began to change in all manner of ways-subtle, radical, predictable, and unforeseen. It is a provocative meditation on the "crucible of middle age"-a time of life that forges the shape of the years to come, that clarifies and solidifies one's relationships to friends and lovers (past and present), family and self. It is also a story of good fortune chasing out bad-of an accidental harvest of happiness.
"Almost There," like its predecessor, is a crystalline reflection of a singular character, utterly engaged in life. Intelligent, thoughtful, hilarious, fierce, moving, generous, and most of all, full of surprises.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

With the same emotional spadework as in her bestselling Are You Somebody? (1998), O'Faolain turns over the past half decade to try understanding how and why they happened.O'Faolain moves from her 50s ... Read full review

Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

O'Faolain settles into middle age with this perceptive and honest memoir. The loneliness in her life is palpable, described in detail through her experiences both with distant relationships and with ... Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Journalist and author Nuala O'Faolain was born in 1940 and grew up in the countryside near Dublin. Before earning a postgraduate degree in English from Oxford University, she studied English as University College, Dublin and medieval English literature at the University of Hull. She had numerous jobs including a lecturer in the English department at University College; produced programs for Open Door, a community-access documentary department at the BBC; and produced current-affairs television programs for Radio Telifis Eirann. She started writing a weekly opinion column for The Irish Times in 1986. She wrote two memoirs, Are You Somebody? (1996) and Almost There (2003), and two novels, My Dream of You (2001) and The Story of Chicago May (2006). She died of lung cancer on May 9, 2008.

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