"ARE YOU SOMEBODY?"takes it title from the question women would a Nuala O'Faolain because they vaguely recognized her from seeing her on Irish Public Television.
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It's a question O'Faolain asks herself as she writes her frank memoir full of missed opportunities, failed romances and broken relationships.
Nuala O'Faolain is a survivor who escapes the single fate slotted for most Irish girs born in the fifties: marriage and babies.
The second of nine children , she had a radio-celebrity father and an alcoholic mother, who pathetically, had tried to become a writer but was defeated by the too many children and an unfaithful husband.
Only Nuala's love of books and writing enabled her to gain entrance into University and later, escape to London and a career.
She credits not having children as a major determinant to success in her work. That, and a psychiatrist's observation about her increased drinking;"Can't you see you are duplicating your mother's life?" that shocked her out of a life of dependency.
OFaolain truimphs as she brings to life her parents'marriage, famous Irish women, and the landscape of Dublin. Her rewards for loneliness lie in the many letters she receives from Irish women who depict their trapped situations. They look to O'Faolain as a one who has liberated herself and who can help them out of desperate circumstances.
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson