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The Cure by Carlo Gébler
Published by Hamish Hamilton in 1994

This historical novel is based on a true story - the trial of Martin Cleary for the murder of his wife, Bridget in 1895. Married for over a year, with pregnancy still eluding her, Bridget hoped that a renowned fertility rite would bring an end to her barren spell. But as further childless years went by, the good people of Tipperary came to the conclusion that other forces were at work. There was talk even of possession, and fairies, and the need for a second cure to free her of her burden. Bridget Cleary was burned by her husband and neighbours in an attempted exorcism.

A hundred years later, a motherless son is going through the papers of his recently deceased father. He finds an account of the curing of Bridget and remembers a holiday in childhood with his cold and unyielding father. Together they met an old man who recollected the true story of Bridget and her family. The father’s obsession with the story is passed on to the son, who takes upon himself the task of piecing together the losses and concealed furies of his childhood.

Part suspense, part history, and written in characteristically luminous prose, Carlo Gébler’s novel is psychologically acute and eerily precise about Ireland a hundred years ago and today, and the concealed furies within us all.

‘A startling glimpse into nightmarish territory’ Irish Times

‘A memorable reminder of the ubiquity of evil in daily life’ Sunday Telegraph

‘The Cure is a darksome, deft and knowing account of how a fairy tale came true……..rich and provocative on many levels’ Literary Review

‘Carlo Gébler has written a novel to make him proud and others envious. In writing of a small-scale hundred year-old incident of intolerance and intimate violence in Ireland, The Cure is a lesson in consequence. Sane, humane, generous fiction’ Robert McLiam Wilson

Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin and now lives in Enniskillen. He was elected to Aosdána in 1990. Aosdána is an affiliation of creative artists in Ireland established by the Arts Council to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the Arts in Ireland.
He has written non-fiction and children’s stories in addition to novels.

Carlo Gébler will launch the Writers in Libraries Programme, a series of readings by Aosdána members, at the DeValera Library, Ennis on Friday, February 4th, 2005 at 6pm.
He will read from his own work at Killaloe Library on Saturday, February 5th at 12 noon.

By the same author:
August ‘44
August In July
Caught on a Train
The Eleventh Summer
Father and I: a Memoir
The Glass Curtain: Inside an Ulster Community
How to Murder a Man
Life of a Drum
Malachy and His Family
W9 and Other Lives

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