Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now in Paperback: Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden

Though Molly Fox’s Birthday (Picador) was huge when released in the UK in 2008 -- including being named a Guardian Book of the Year and a finalist for the prestigious Orange Prize -- as far as I know, the Picador paperback released last month is the first US publication of the book. This makes Molly Fox’s Birthday an immense find for North American readers. It’s a massively good book: subtle, effortless, lyrical.

The book takes place over a single day. The title’s Molly Fox -- an actress who loathes the idea of yet another birthday -- has lent her home in Dublin to a playwright while Molly herself is working in London and New York.

The nameless narrator playwright is meant to be starting a new work but, instead, she muses on her friend, the absent Molly, and the transformations the two of them and the friends they share have made in their lives since they met.

Wonderfully realized, often poetically stated, Molly Fox’s Birthday places Madden an easy reach from the very best of her contemporaries. It’s a beautiful, memorable book.



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