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Stir-fry: A Novel Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st Alyson edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555837239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555837235
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Donoghue's wry and tender debut tackles the interconnected themes of coming-out and coming-of-age. Strong-willed, shy and filled with vague feminist sentiments, 17-year-old Maria has left her small town to begin college--and what she hopes will be a thrilling life replete with romance--in contemporary Dublin. Seeking an inexpensive place to live, she responds to a notecard tacked on the bulletin board in the Students' Union and meets her future roommates, Jael and Ruth, two "Mature Students" in their 20s, occupants of a shabby but cozy Georgian flat. Though unworldly Maria does not at first grasp that the two are lovers, it doesn't take her long to realize that swaggering Jael and earnest, sweet-natured Ruth are just the sort of friends she has always longed for. As she comes to grips with her new friends' relationship, Maria gradually unearths the truth about her own sexuality. Eschewing dogma and offering no pat answers, this intimate, highly readable tale ends on a hopeful, love-affirming note as Maria makes a choice that is at once surprising, inevitable and very right for her. Described with wicked, hilarious accuracy, campus life (from women's-group meetings to boozy theatrical shindigs) provides a vivid backdrop to Maria's inner searchings. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

At 17, Maria leaves home in the country to attend the University in Dublin, where she shares a flat with two older women students. Like most first-year students, Maria is searching for her own identity. Attending classes, joining clubs, cleaning offices, making friends, and talking with her flat mates, Maria begins her search. When she discovers that her feminist flat mates are lesbians and lovers, Maria must start questioning her own sexuality. Donoghue has written about lesbianism in various modes, but this is her first novel. There are some drawbacks: Maria has more sophistication and maturity than her age and background would seem to permit, and the use of British slang may cause American readers to miss the point of some of the dialog. Still, this is a readable addition to fiction collections.
Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the bestselling "Slammerkin," "The Sealed Letter," "Landing," "Life Mask," "Hood," and "Stirfry." Her story collections are "The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits," "Kissing the Witch," and "Touchy Subjects." She also writes literary history, and plays for stage and radio. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two small children.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Maria is a small town Irish girl, who comes to Dublin to attend university. Not wanting to live with her aunt, she shares an apartment with two women, Ruth and Jael, who help introduce her to a grander scope of the world at large. Maria makes a few other friends, but it is Ruth and Jael who are her centerpiece, but when she discovers they're lesbian lovers, she's not sure what to think anymore. She adapts, and tries to follow her classmates and get interest in dating and clubbing, but it all seems flat and uninteresting. Ultimately, a single moment at New Year's clarifies Maria's feelings and helps her realize just who she wants. Donoghue's marvelous first novel is exquisitely rendered, and quite fulfilling. I found some of the middle passages a bit tepid, but this was a brief feeling, and Donoghue's writing captured me again soon after. I am a huge fan of her book "Hood", and it's wonderful this book has come back into print!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Donoghue writes simply and clearly, yet conveys so well the complexities of Maria becoming more aware of herself. There is so much going through her mind as she adjusts to life in the city, away from her family and village, and is exposed to new ideas of how to live. We can see Maria changing and yet are still surprised at the end. This book is more about relationships than events, so on the first read it seemed to drag, but the more I read it the more I notice how every insignificant event is designed to show some aspect of Maria that she is barely aware of herself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Carlin on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was heading to Ireland 12 days ago for the first time, and took this book with me for the plane ride. I made a list of all the Irish-isms in the back of the book and was fortunate to be able to get definitions from a fellow traveler even before I finished the book.
It was good to revisit that time in the vocal feminist heyday from the perspective of a young Irish woman new to college in Dublin, discovering her roommates are lesbians. The narrative felt true, and was well-written. I highly recommend!
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