Friday, 4 May 2018

In conversation with... Nuala O'Faolain

In August of 2007, I had the privilege to speak with Irish writer and journalist, Nuala O’Faolain. The topic was feminism, and in particular her upcoming symposium on that subject with Marianne Finucane and Anne Enright at the Merriman Summer School. An unknown neighbour - I grew up just a mile from her Bartra home in Clare - I had only recently became aware of her written work and her memoirs. Unbeknownst to all, four months after our chat she was was diagnosed with cancer and she passed away on May 8, 2008. Ten years after her death, with the referendum on the Eight Amendment on the horizon, we can only wonder what O'Faolain would have added to the conversation.

Naula O'Faolain who passed away on May 8, 2008
The feminist struggle. It’s a fight that many in mainstream western society have consigned to a box of forgotten things, filed safely in the dusty recesses under the title ‘Old News – For The Archive’.
Conflict and division in western nations is now, after all, driven by more 'contemporary' masters. These days religion, race and, above all, wealth are the factors which mark where a person stands when the line is drawn in the sand.
Mary Robinson and Sex in the City surely put an end to gender inequality, didn’t they?
“I think that this [the feminist struggle] has barely begun. The position of women in Irish public life as late as the 1960s was so unjust, they were so unfairly treated, that there was bound, by the late 20th century, to be an effective protest against this,” says O’Faolain.

Click HERE to read this interview in full as well as other interviews with John Connolly, Ann Enright, John Arden, Kevin Barry, Colm Tóibin, Julian Gough, Donal Ryan, Colin Barrett, Ian Rankin, Catherine O'Flynn and Danielle McLaughlin.

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