NCL 39 – Judith Hearne by Brian Moore


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Judth Hearne by Brian Moore front cover (New Canadian Library N39)Series One

From the Back Cover:

Judith Hearne is a Belfast spinster. In her boarding-house room, age and ugliness have almost overtaken her. But at forty there is still time for Judith Hearne–or so she believes. As Brian Moore with skill and insight shreds the illusions of his character we see her [as] absurd, ludicrous, and even pathetic. She is an old maid looking for a husband, boring her friends and clinging to the bottle for comfort. Judith Hearne’s lonely passion grips all our hearts. Though we laugh at her human foibles, we weep at her plight.


Judith Hearne by Brian Moore (New Canadian Library N39) front coverSeries Two

From the Back Cover:

Judith Hearne is a Belfast spinster. In her boarding-house room, age and ugliness have almost overtaken her. But at forty there is still time for Judith Hearne–or so she believes. As Brian Moore, with skill and insight,  slowly destroys the last illusions of his character we find her absurd, pathetic, and even tragic. She is an old maid looking for a husband, boring her friends, and clinging to the bottle for comfort. Judith Hearne’s lonely passion grips all our hearts. Though we laugh at her human foibles, we weep at her plight.


Judith Hearne by Brian Moore (New Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

Brian Moore burst upon the literary scene in 1955 with this moving and brilliantly observed study of a woman imprisoned by the passage of time. He has since gone on to be hailed as one of the best fiction writers of his generation.

Alone in her room in a Belfast boarding house, Judith Hearne is almost overwhelmed by loneliness. Yet she still believes there is a chance for happiness, and she waits patiently for the moment when her life will turn from sorrowful longing to joy. By chance she meets a man – the man – and her dreams take on a brighter hue, only to be dashed once more.

With skill and gentle insight, Moore depicts the disintegration of Judith Hearne’s last illusions. Clinging to the bottle for comfort, she becomes a tragic figure who speaks frankly about the human condition. Though we laugh at her foibles, we weep at her plight, and share her primal longing for love and connection.

This touching story was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture in 1987.

“A powerful haunting story by a young Irish-Canadian who knows the meaning not only of loneliness, but that of compassion as well.” – The New York Times


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