In 1996, a small Irish press approached Nuala OFaolain, then a writer for The Irish Times, to publish a collection of her opinion columns. She offered to compose an introduction for the volume, and that undertaking blossomed into an accidental memoir of a Dublin woman and a book called Are You Somebody? that was published around the world and embraced so wholeheartedly in the U.S. that it reached the number-one position on the New York Times bestseller list and launched Nuala OFaolain on a new career.
Hailed universally for her unflinching eye (A beautiful exploration of human loneliness and happiness, of contentment and longing.-Alice McDermott, The Washington Post Book World); her wisdom (A remarkable memoir, poignant, truthful, and imparting that quiet wisdom which suffering brings.-Edna OBrien); and her boldness (An immensely courageous undertaking.-The Irish Times), Are You Somebody? took readers from OFaolains harrowing childhood, through decades defined by passion and a ferocious hunger for experience, to a middle age notable for its unbroken solitude and longing. The success of the books publication robbed OFaolain of her obscurity, but the traits that defined her life remained obstinately intact.
In Almost There, OFaolain begins her story from the moment her life began to change in all manner of ways-subtle, radical, predictable, and unforeseen. It is a provocative meditation on the crucible of middle age-a time of life that forges the shape of the years to come, that clarifies and solidifies ones relationships to friends and lovers (past and present), family and self. It is also a story of good fortune chasing out bad-of an accidental harvest of happiness.
Almost There, like its predecessor, is a crystalline reflection of a singular character, utterly engaged in life. Intelligent, thoughtful, hilarious, fierce, moving, generous, and most of all, full of surprises.