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Stir-Fry by Emma Donoghue

Stir-Fry (1994)

by Emma Donoghue

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347731,518 (3.52)5



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The writing style is lovely, especially at the beginning, when I could hear in my head the lilting cadence of the Irish speakers, despite no diacritical cues. Lots of slang and other interesting indications of ubiety - in fact, too many, because this is not universal and is already dated. Meaning, that it doesn't feel relevant and therefore interesting, any longer, to me.

The portrayal of the young student was implausible in that she was ever so naive, and ever so disturbed to discover that her roommates were lesbians. I mean, I know this is Ireland, but still. And the lesbians themselves were portrayed oddly, as if to lend credence to the bigots' theories about them. That is to say, one is clingy and has little sense of self, and the other is predatory, but as a mask for even deeper insecurity. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book was sort of a relationship driven book. But instead of just the characters individually being what the book was about it was also about the dynamics of all sorts of relationships.

There were 3 main characters, Maria, Jael and Ruth. They all share a flat. Maria's a freshman at University while Jael and Ruth are 29 and 24 respectively and at various points in their college careers. And once we meet them (and the secondary characters) the rest of the novel explores the three womens' relationships and how they change over time.

I really liked that the novel got the feeling of freshman students feeling, a young feeling, the first time away from home, freaking out and trying not to let anyone know that you are. Also the dialogue was witty and snappy.

I also like when, like this one, books are about introverts and not just extroverts. Generally introverts in fiction are called weird characters, but here they were just as valid characters as the extroverts.

I think my biggest problem with the book was that I had no idea how to categorize it. Perhaps this is an instance where only 'Literature' works as a category for it.

No matter, it was an interesting book and a very good book. ( )
  DanieXJ | Jul 21, 2014 |
a lovely coming out tale. i just want to read this book over and over. ( )
  bothhands | Sep 16, 2012 |
dialogue is the best part of this book - refreshing, often funny repartee between the main characters. other areas of the book are weaker: plot is meh, there is a great yawning distance between reader and protagonist, there is not much detail to visually or sensually embody the main characters, even as they delight us with their conversational barbs... so, a good effort. not satisfying in the end, but an interesting read. lots of irishisms i'll have to look up later. not quite the coming-out novel i was hoping to read, but interesting. i'd give it two stars, except for the dialogue, which was at times quite amusing. ( )
  lindseynichols | May 15, 2008 |
Despite falling into that bitter-sweet lesbian genre also well inhabited by "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit" I was rather seduced by this novel. Its tale of a rural girl discovering possibilities she had never seen before and the tenderness of falling in love without recognising it is worth reading. I was also impressed by the portrayal of Irish spaces and attitudes and pleased to find the characters were a range of well-fleshed out women with differing interests.
I would have liked a little more humour and a little less loneliness but thats a quibble with the story not the writing.
A recommended read but don't expect excitement or avant-garde style.
1 vote LittleKnife | Dec 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006017109X, Hardcover)

After coming to Dublin to study at the University, sharing a flat with two eccentric women, and becoming infatuated with a man who turns out to be gay, a teenage Irish girl discovers she is a lesbian. National ad/promo. Tour.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:23 -0400)

An Irish girl's discovery of homosexuality and lesbianism and the effect it has on her. On arriving in Dublin to study at the university, she moves into a flat with two women and catches them kissing. Next, she develops a crush on a student, only to learn he is gay. First novel by the author of Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture, 1668-1801.… (more)

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