O'Brien, Maureen 1960-
O'Brien, Maureen 1960-
Born 1960, in Tarrytown, NY.
Home—West Hartford, CT. Office—Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, 15 Vernon St., Hartford, CT 06106.
Has taught creative writing at various institutions, including Trinity College, University of Hartford, and St. Joseph's College; Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT, currently instructor.
Patricia Dobler Poetry Prize, Carlow University; Barbara Deming Memorial Fund/Money for Women grant; fiction grant, Connecticut Commission on the Arts.
B-Mother, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.
Contributor to anthologies, including I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted, 1995, Mother's Nature, 1999, Through a Child's Eyes, 2001, and Anthology of New England Writers, 2003. Contributor to periodicals, including Earth's Daughters, Hurricane Alice, Kalliope, Lilliput Review, Red Rock Review, and Louisville Review.
Maureen O'Brien is a writing instructor who also writes fiction and poetry. In 2006 O'Brien published her first novel, B-Mother. The book tells the story of Hillary, a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself pregnant after a summer fling. Her parents and the biological father refuse to accept any responsibility for the unborn child, so they force her to live in a Catholic home for unwed mothers, where she will have to give the baby up for adoption. Eighteen years pass as Hillary anxiously awaits the time when she will be legally allowed to meet her biological son for the first time. About this debut effort, Booklist critic Joanne Wilkinson took notice of "some awkward pacing and dialogue," but overall thought that "teens may empathize with the young, unwed mother forced to make a life-altering decision." A contributor to Publishers Weekly thought the novel's time span was too long, adding that "readers feel as if they … are just biding time until the mother and son's eventual reunion." In a Library Journal review, Jennifer Stidham was more laudatory, concluding that O'Brien is "keenly and beautifully aware of the New England setting" in her writing, and the novel is "full of memorable, well-developed characters, even the most peripheral."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of B-Mother, p. 31.
Courant (Hartford, CT), May 24, 2007, Carole Goldberg, "Debut Novel Follows Her Poetry Prize."
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of B-Mother, p. 982.
Library Journal, November 1, 2006, Jennifer Stidham, review of B-Mother, p. 69.
Publishers Weekly, September 25, 2006, review of B-Mother, p. 41.
Compulsive Reader,http://www.compulsivereader.com/ (June 25, 2007), Bob Williams, review of B-Mother.