Emma Donoghue: Pull of the Stars
Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu.
In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders—Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.
The pandemic is a backdrop for Donoghue’s searing portrait of women’s lives scarred by poverty and too many pregnancies in a society that proclaims, “She doesn’t love him unless she gives him twelve”.
This Lecture is part of the 2020-21 Literary Lecture Series, a popular series has been described as a cross between a traditional book club and a university course without exams. Registration for this event is currently restricted to registration for the Subscription Series (available here).
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