Astray (Paperback)

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November 2012 Indie Next List

“The short story is the most demanding of arts, and it takes a brilliant practitioner to succeed. Donoghue meets the description with this collection examining immigrants and the dispossessed through the centuries. Lives filled with hope, fear, uncertainty, and desperation are portrayed succinctly, with precise language that tells the stories of those who have dared or been forced to uproot their normal existence.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI


A trainer coaxes his beloved elephant onto a ship carrying him to a life of fame. A mother searches for her baby girl, sent away on a train headed west. A teenage soldier wrestles with his conscience far from home.

The fascinating characters who roam the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray. They are emigrants, runaways, drifters, gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross countless borders. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

The celebrated author of Room transports us from Puritan Massachusetts to Revolutionary-era New Jersey, from antebellum Louisiana to a highway in Toronto, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present and offering us a moving meditation on restless times.

About the Author

Born in Dublin, in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction-including Slammerkin, Life Mask, The Sealed Letter, Astray, and Frog Music-as well as literary history and drama for stage, radio, and screen. Room has sold over a million copies worldwide. It was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General s Literary Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction; and the winner of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year, the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean region). She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner, son, and daughter. Visit her online, at, on Twitter @EDonoghueWriter, or become a fan on Facebook.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316206280
ISBN-10: 0316206288
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2013
Pages: 304
Language: English