A few nights ago I attended a reading at the Irish Arts Center that completely blew me away. Irish author Emma Donoghue, well-established for her literary and historical fiction. 'Room,' which made the cover of the New York Times Book Review, is a profoundly disturbing and uplifting book, told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who lives in an 12 x 12 foot room with his Ma. The facts of their existence reveal themselves to us only as they enter Jack's understanding, which at the opening of the book does not include a world outside the womb-like space where he and he mother play, learn, read, eat, talk, and sleep, always together.
Donoghue's discussion of her new novel was as fascinating as the book itself, which I devoured in one sitting. The surreal setting and rambling, pervasive voice she has created for Jack are truly stand-out accomplishments in a highlight of recent postmodern fiction.
Look for an interview with Emma Donoghue in an upcoming issue of Irish America magazine.