‘Written with all the ingenuity and twisty tautness of a thriller’ The Times
From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths.
This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O’Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London’s West End. Katherine’s life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.
But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine’s past, or the world’s damage. As Norah uncovers her mother’s secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime.
Actress is about a daughter’s search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad . . .
A perfect jewel of a book, a dark emerald set in the Irish laureate’s fictional tiara, alongside her Man Booker Prize winner The Gathering (2007) and The Green Road (2015). Its brilliance is complex and multifaceted, but completely lucid… Actress is a deeply humane, often darkly funny novel about the exercise of power over sexually attractive women. The grim subject matter is illuminated by Enright’s acute sensitivity to language… Enright proves, once again, her genius. -- Ruth Scurr ― Spectator
Anne Enright, the unofficial rock star of literary fiction, cements her stardom with Actress. -- Niamh Donnelly ― Irish Times
Actress absolutely enthralled me… [An] immersive, masterful novel. -- Anya Meyerowitz ― Red Magazine
In Katherine O’Dell, her fictional fallen star of stage and screen…Enright has created a heroine as irresistible to the reader as to her audiences… She has become a byword for contemporary Irish literary fiction at its finest. -- Lisa Allardice ― Guardian
May I recommend Actress by Anne Enright. Her writing is always pitch perfect, but this is truly exquisite. If there is such a thing as the perfect novel, this is it. -- Nigella Lawson
About the Author
Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has written two collections of stories, published together as Yesterday’s Weather, one book of non-fiction, Making Babies, and six novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Forgotten Waltz, which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Green Road, which was the Bord Gáis Energy Novel of the Year and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.