Annie Dunne

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Annie Dunne
Sebastian Barry - Annie Dunne.jpeg
Author Sebastian Barry
Language English
Publisher Penguin Books
Publication date
Pages 256
ISBN 978-0-14-200287-2
Preceded by The Steward of Christendom[1]
Followed by A Long Long Way

Annie Dunne is a novel written by author and playwright Sebastian Barry. First published by Faber and Faber in 2002[2] it is currently under reprint from Penguin Books.[3] Set in rural Ireland in the late 1950`s the novel recounts the life of Annie, who having been made homeless after the death of her sister is forced to move to a farm in Co Wicklow.


The protagonist Annie, who was the central character in Barry`s play The Steward of Christendom[4][5] is seen at first living with her sickly sister and caring for her brother-in-law. After the death of her sister the brother-in-law remarries, making Annie homeless.[6] She moves to live with her cousin Sarah in a remote farm. When the pair are in their sixties, Annie's nephew asks her to care for his two children, a girl and a boy, as he leaves for England in 1960 to search for work.[7] The book describes the events of the summer as Annie delights in playing the role of a mother, but also feels threatened by the prospect of her cousin marrying a local farmhand, thus leaving her homeless once again.


The novel has received mixed reviews, Eamonn Sweeney writing in The Guardian compared the book to the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot saying "Waiting for Godot has been described as a play in which nothing happens, twice. Annie Dunne is a novel in which nothing happens many times."[4] Emily Gordon writing in the New York Times called it "a fine novel" and that the prose was "close to poetry".[8] Tony Mastrogiorgio for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote the book was a "superb new novel" although says there "was there is a brief flickering of regret at first impressions" he says "that brief doubt is replaced by what can only be described as wonder." And describes Annie as "one of the most memorable women in Irish fiction"[6]


  1. ^ Mahony p171
  2. ^ News Desk, BWW. "Act II Playhouse Presents 1st US Production of The Pride of Parnell Street". Broadway World. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ Sebastian ISBN
  4. ^ a b Sweeney, Eamonn (29 June 2002). "Busted flush?". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Pierce p1201
  6. ^ a b Mastrogiorgio, Tony (August 25, 2002). "Sebastian Barry pulls new gems from familiar Irish ground". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  7. ^ Stade p42
  8. ^ Gordon, Emily (September 15, 2002). "Dances With Hens". New York Times. 


  • Barr Sebastian. Annie Dunne Penguin Books. Reissue. May 2003. ISBN 978-0-14-200287-2
  • Christina Hunt Mahony. Out of history: essays on the writings of Sebastian Barry Carysfort Press. February 2006. ISBN 978-1-904505-18-1
  • Stade George. Encyclopedia of British Writers, 1800 to the Present, Volume 1 Facts On File. 2nd Revised ed. 15 April 2009. ISBN 978-0-8160-7385-6
  • Pierce David. Irish writing in the twentieth century: a reader Cork University Press. 1 January 2001. ISBN 978-1-85918-258-1

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