Mairi MacInnes

Reviews

Cover of the book Clearances: A memoir by author Mairi MacInnes Reviews for Clearances: A Memoir

‘… The lives of most educated women have changed, but one wishes that their memoirs were more like this: so intelligent, nuanced, and torn.’ ‘Briefly Noted’,
The New Yorker, 2nd Oct 2002


‘… relationship to person and landscape is MacInnes’ key subject, her yardstick, and she has to give it a shape in thought, has to make ‘Life and the memory of it’ turn ‘into each other’. Clearances: A Memoir achieves this literary transformation with such underrated skill, such feeling for the subtleties of the low road taken, that her writing comes to exemplify the only apparently simple understanding that ‘to make things happen, you have to go away.’ Peter Robinson, The Reader

‘Like all the best memoirs, Mairi MacInnes’ is both a personal story and a generation’s history. I liked the person – an intelligent, impatient girl from the North of England determined to be a writer, and I recognized the generation, the one that was young in the Second World War and lived on to inhabit the edgy half-century that followed. I read Clearances with a continual sense of its honest perception – it was like that, in our generation – and with admiration for the strong-willed woman at the center of it.’ Samuel Hynes

Mairi MacInnes' novel Admit One, image of the book cover Reviews for Admit One

‘Mairi MacInnes, whose first novel, Admit One, I have greatly admired…writes astonishingly well of lust and love and marriage, and the rival attractions of women. This first novel has been real excitement.’ Nancy Spain in the Daily Express

‘The ability to present people and individuals rather than types is the greatest single gift a novelist can have. Possessing this gift, Mairi MacInnes, already known as a poet, has produced an impressive first novel…’ Olivia Manning

Mairi MacInnes' novel The Quandom Wives, image of the book cover Reviews for The Quondam Wives

'The Quondam Wives is a brilliant account of the unraveling of the fabric of a family and a society. This retelling of the story of Lear and his daughters in a contemporary setting is rich in irony and wonderfully dramatic. It is a highly original, resonant,and memorable novel.' William Jay Smith

'An accomplished poet and prose writer, Mairi MacInnes has brought her formidable gifts to bear on The Quondam Wives, a splendid translation into modern terms and cicumstances of the Lear story. An absorbing work, the novel answers questions the Shakespearean play provokes: where are the other women, never mentioned in the play, the wife and probable mistresses of King Lear? The Quondam Wives ironically and deliciously focuses its story on and through such women.' Theodore Weiss

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