When The Springs of Affection, Maeve Brennan's collection of Dublin storieA miraculous literary find: a previously unpublished novella by the late Maeve Brennan, an Irish writer "of the highest order, controlled, wise, and fearless."-The Nation.
When The Springs of Affection, Maeve Brennan's collection of Dublin stories, was published in 1997, the poet Eamon Grennan called it a classic, a book that placed Brennan "among the best Irish short-story writers since Joyce." It was followed by The Rose Garden, which collected all of Brennan's remaining short stories-fiction so good that one critic, Katherine Powers of the Boston Globe, "kept putting the book down to [postpone] the evil hour when the stories would be done."
Now, quite unexpectedly, Brennan's oeuvre is immeasurably deepened and broadened by one last book-a novella, till now unpublished, written in the 1940s. Recently discovered in a university archive, it is the early work of a mature artist -a further story of Dublin, and of the unkind, ungenerous, emotionally unreachable side of the Irish temper. It is complete and of a piece with her greatest short stories. The Visitor is the haunting tale of Anastasia King, who, at the age of twenty-two, returns to her grandmother's house-the very house where she grew up-after six long years away. She had been in Paris, comforting her disgraced and dying mother, the runaway from a disastrous marriage to Anastasia's late father, the grandmother's only son. "It's a pity she sent for you, Anastasia," the grandmother says, "and a pity you went after her. It broke your father's heart." Anastasia pays dearly for the choice she made, a choice that now costs her own strong sense of family and makes her an exile-a visitor-in the place she once called home....Continua