Corrigan, Eireann 1977-
CORRIGAN, Eireann 1977-
Born 1977. Education: Sarah Lawrence College, received degree; New York University, M.F.A., 2001.
Home—NJ. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Scholastic Press, 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. E-mail—[email protected]
Rutgers Preparatory School, Rutgers, NJ, teacher, 1999—.
Best Book for Teens nomination, American Library Association, for You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir.
You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir, PUSH (New York, NY), 2002.
Splintering, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
Eireann Corrigan began writing at the age of seven, when she sent poems to a brother who was attending high school in Germany. Her first book, You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir, recounts Corrigan's battle with anorexia as a teenager and her relationship with her boyfriend Daniel. "Throughout college and grad school, I wrote most of my poems to or about one person," said Corrigan on the PUSH Web site. "Those poems make up most of the book. When I decided to publish, the biggest challenge was to try and translate that story into one that the rest of the world might understand. I wrote a lot of the poems that read like interviews in hopes of clarifying things."
You Remind Me of You is made up of free-verse poems that range from those revealing her innermost thoughts to the studies on the particulars of her day-to-day life and interactions. Other poems resemble interviews and focus on the talks between the author and her therapist. Although much of the emphasis is on Corrigan's eating disorder, she also recounts her boyfriend's attempted suicide and their mutual recovery and love. Susan Riley wrote in the School Library Journal that she found the book to be an "eloquent and moving poetic memoir." Riley also commented, "The unusual and effective format sharpens each work." In a review in Kliatt, Rebecca Rabinowitz said that the memoir "swirls with emotion and pain" and also noted, "Readers willing to navigate the story's ricocheting timeline will be profoundly rewarded."
Corrigan's second book, Splintering, is a work of fiction, but once again tells its story through poetry. The book focuses on a family that begins to fall apart after a man wielding a knife breaks in to their home and attacks them. The story is told in the voices of two of the children, Jeremy and his sister Paulie, as they gradually reveal what happened. The attack occurs when the family is visiting the children's older sister Mimi, who is distressed after finding out that her husband is cheating on her. During the attack, their father suffers a debilitating heart attack, and Jeremy hides in the basement. Jeremy's mother and sisters hide in a bedroom, only to have the door broken down. Although the mother successfully fends off the drug-crazed madman, family members must each face the trauma resulting from the experience. Mimi has lost the will to do much of anything; Jeremy feels guilty for having hidden from the attacker; and Paulie has nightmares and embarks on a clandestine love affair.
Writing in Kliatt, Claire Rosser called Corrigan's book a "powerful story" that is appropriate for "sophisticated adolescents." Ginny Gustin wrote in the School Library Journal that the poems "lack the artfully articulated rhythms usually found in free verse and have instead the feel of prose that has been arbitrarily put into poetic format." However, in a review for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Deborah Stevenson commented, "The story she teases out of her teenage narrators is worthwhile and complex." The reviewer also noted that "readers will recognize many of the harder truths of family life amid the poetic craftsmanship." In a review for Booklist, Jennifer Mattson commented that "teens will be drawn to the terrifying premise and the characters' searing intensity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of Splintering, p. 1359.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 2004, Deborah Stevenson, review of Splintering, p. 322.
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, October, 2002, Anne Hanson, review of You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir, p. 180.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2004, review of Splintering, p. 327.
Kliatt, September, 2002, Rebecca Rabinowitz, review of You Remind Me of You, p. 32; March, 2004, Claire Rosser, review of Splintering, p. 9.
Publishers Weekly, March 4, 2002, review of You Remind Me of You, p. 81; April 19, 2004, review of Splintering, p. 62.
Scholastic Scope, April 8, 2002, Cate Baily, "Sitting at the Table Again," p. 28.
School Library Journal, August, 2002, Susan Riley, review of You Remind Me of You, p. 204; July, 2004, Ginny Gustin, review of Splintering, p. 102.
PUSH Web site,http://www.thisispush.com/ (November 4, 2004), interview with Corrigan.