Haverty, Anne 1959-
HAVERTY, Anne 1959-
PERSONAL: Born 1959, in Tipperary, Ireland. Ethnicity: "Irish."
ADDRESSES: Home—Dublin, Ireland. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Chatto & Windus, Random House UK, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd., London SW1V 2SA, England.
CAREER: Novelist and poet.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rooney Prize and nomination for Whitbread First Novel Award, 1997, for One Day as a Tiger.
Constance Markievicz: Irish Revolutionary (biography), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
One Day as a Tiger (novel), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1997, Ecco Press (Hopewell, NJ), 1998.
The Beauty of the Moon (poetry), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1999.
Ladies' Night at Finbar's Hotel (collaborative novel), edited by Dermot Bolger, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2000.
The Far Side of a Kiss (novel), Vintage (London, England), 2001.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel, In the Gloaming (tentative title); a poetry collection, The Continental Shelf (tentative title).
SIDELIGHTS: Anne Haverty's book One Day as a Tiger was hailed as "the best first novel of the season" by a contributor to the Economist, and was greeted with positive reviews by other reviewers as well. The title, taken from a Tibetan proverb, "It is better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep," emerges within the novel's rural and at times fantastic subject matter.
One Day as a Tiger is the first-person narrative of Marty Hawkins, a young man who, after growing up on a farm in Tipperary, Ireland, has gone to Trinity College in Dublin to pursue an academic career, doing research into nineteenth-century agricultural methods. He is a troubled young man, however, as well as a very bright one, and finding that the ivory-tower life does not suit him, he returns to his parents' farm. There, ironically, he feels just as much out of place as in Dublin. The rural community is somewhat suspicious of him; his solid older brother, Pierce, looks up to him with awe; and Marty himself no longer remembers much about contemporary farming. The plot then receives "a delightful tragic-comic . . . twist," as the Economist reviewer described it: Marty and Pierce buy some genetically altered lambs, whose genotype is half human. One in particular, Missy, is adopted by Marty as a companion.
Missy is a runt-like creature who prefers to be indoors, eating porridge and listening to stories. Marty conceives an affection for her which is never overtly expressed in sexual intercourse, although the villagers mockingly assert that it has been. Missy, however, provides a mechanism for Marty to run away with his beautiful, unintelligent sister-in-law, Etti; the couple take the ewe to Paris with the purpose of depositing Missy at actress Brigitte Bardot's well-known animal refuge. Events build to a crisis and resolution which Aisling Foster of Times Literary Supplement declared, provide "a predictable and long-awaited relief, like the realization of a fable."
Foster expressed a few reservations about the novel, finding Martin's mentality, and his antagonism toward Pierce, too little explained; however, he applauded the novel's ambition, its "intention to drive Irish fiction into some pretty rough terrain, all four wheels engaged," which gave the book, he asserted, "mythical proportions." And he felt that Haverty's "creation of Missy . . . makes this work stand out from the flock." The Economist reviewer wrote, "The story, elegantly written, proceeds with tact, comedy and restraint." Also enthusiastic was Amanda Craig, who appraised the novel for the New Statesman. Implying that the numerous "rave" blurbs on the book's jacket made her initially suspicious, Craig assured readers that the advance comments from acclaimed writers Brian Moore, Dermot Bolger, and Colm Toibin were deserved. Said Craig, "Only the freshness of its prose gives it away as a debut; otherwise its verve, characterisation, plot and command of tone are those of a writer who has leapt fully formed onto the page." Craig found the novel to be, on one level, "a luminous description of rural life in Ireland, saturated with all its beauties, stupidities, monotonies and splendour"; she also found it to be a contemporary reworking of the biblical story of Cain and Abel.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Haverty, Anne, One Day as a Tiger, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1997, Ecco Press (Hopewell, NJ), 1998.
Economist, April 19, 1997, review of One Day as a Tiger, pp. 14-15.
Library Journal, January, 1998, Michele Leber, review of One Day as a Tiger, p. 140; March 1, 1998, review of One Day as a Tiger, p. 102.
New Statesman, March 14, 1997, Amanda Craig, review of One Day as a Tiger, pp. 46-48.
Observer, March 23, 1997, p. 18; April 19, 1998, review of One Day as a Tiger, p. 18.
Times Literary Supplement, March 7, 1997, Aisling Foster, review of One Day as a Tiger, p. 21.
Washington Post Book World, April 19, 1998, review of One Day as a Tiger, p. 8.
World of Hibernia, spring, 2001, Eileen Battersby, review of The Far Side of a Kiss, p. 17.
Books Irish.com,http://booksirish.com/ (April 16, 2003), review of The Far Side of a Kiss.