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Books

The Butcher of Bosnia holes up in an Irish backwater

Edna O’Brien’s Little Red Shoes transports Radovan Karadizic (or ‘Vlad’) to fictional Cloonoila — in gushing, sub-Hemingway style

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

The Little Red Chairs Edna O’Brien

Faber, pp.320, £18.99, ISBN: 9780571316281

The cover of Edna O’Brien’s 17th novel sports a handsome quote from Philip Roth: ‘The great Edna O’Brien has written her masterpiece.’ Late Roth and late O’Brien have something in common. In The Plot Against America (2004), Roth provided an alternative history of the 20th century: what if Roosevelt had been defeated by the anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh? O’Brien, whose stellar career began 55 years ago with her wonderful debut, The Country Girls (1960), is increasingly interested in exploring real-life events.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £16.14, Tel: 08430 600033. Claire Lowdon’s satirical novel Left of the Bang was published earlier this year.

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