Controversial writer Edna O’Brien will give a free public reading of recent work at New York University’s Tishman Auditorium, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South on Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m. She is the first writer to read in the Spring, 19 98 NYU Creative Writing Program Reading Series. O’Brien will be introduced by James Atlas. For more information, the public may call 998-8816.

Known primarily for her novel and short story writing, O’Brien is regarded as a pioneer for her frank portrayals of women and women’s issues. Her treatment of female sexuality has even caused her books to be banned in her native Ireland.

Her stories are laden with intense, lyrical language, longing and passion and are influenced by her Roman Catholic upbringing and Irish background. She has authored 18 books, including The Country Girls, her first novel; House of Splendid Isolation, set against the backdrop of the I.R.A.’s resistance to British rule; A Fanatic Heart, a collection of short stories; and, most recently, Down by the River.

The reading is cosponsored by NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House. The 1997-98 NYU Creative Writing Program Reading Series is made possible by the Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund at Community Funds, Inc., the corporate affiliate of The New York Community Tru st. The next reading in the series, a “Fiction Alumni Reading,” is on March 6 and features Patricia Chao, Cassandra Garbus and Jillian Medoff.

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