Are You Somebody? Background

Are You Somebody? Background

Are You Somebody is a memoir (an autobiography) written by the Irish journalist and author Nuala O'Faolain. It was first published in 1996. O'Faolain was born 1940 and died 2008. She started writing at a young age but this book is what made her famous.

The memoir basically talks about Nuala O'Faolain's life in Ireland. She describes her poor family and the bad childhood she witnessed. She depicts the life of Irish people in the 1900s and how unstable their lives were. More importantly, she shows the gender inequality and discrimination she faced by the people of her own country.

O'Faolain wanted to show her people that their situations are known and to let their problems be heard. She wanted everyone to be able to relate to her life and know that they are not alone. Her story successfully became very famous worldwide and became one of the bestsellers.

Hundreds of people loved the memoir and said very positive reviews about it. It earned a 3.5 out of a 5-star rating on Goodreads. Henry Holt said in his book review in Kirkus Reviews: "An Irish woman reflects, with stunning honesty, on her country and her past". Kathleen Johns also loved the book and said on her blog: "It was as honest, painful and lyrically written as the novel. No matter that it tells a story familiar from much Irish literature - the alcoholic mother, the inadequate father, the nine children, poverty, religion - what Nuala does in this book is much more than that. In telling her own story, she tells the story of Ireland itself - a particular period of its history." Lastly, Zoe Heller in the New York Times said that the novel " one of the most perfectly observed portraits of female loneliness I've ever come across -- with more genuine, painful candor in it than all the modish, scandalous confessions of recent years put together. Before the stampede away from the autobiography section in the bookstore begins, this book has to be read."

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