Henry Holt recently released a new paperback edition of one of my favorite memoirs, Are You Somebody? by Nuala O’Faolain, the Irish writer who died last year of cancer at the age of 68. The new edition includes a foreword by Frank McCourt, who describes O’Faolain as “[a] woman who wore on her sleeve, not only her heart, but her mind and soul and whatever else she could offer.” Still most definitely worth reading—or re-reading, if you’re already a fan, like me—Are You Somebody? captures the author’s feisty, defiant spirit in all its glory.
The new paperback concludes with the text of O’Faolain’s final radio interview, which McCourt says “shocked listeners all over Ireland.” An iconoclast til the end, O’Faolain said she wasn’t having any further medical treatment and proclaimed, “Even if I gained time through the chemotherapy it isn’t time I want. Because as soon as I knew I was going to die soon, the goodness went out of life.”