By Roddy Doyle
The Booker Prize-winning writer of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha attracts a portrait of a working-class lady suffering to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and her personal alcoholism. Reprint. NYT.
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Additional info for The Woman Who Walked into Doors
In a smelly room that was either too hot or too cold. I was put beside Derek O'Leary because our names were the same and he walked into the room just before me. He farted all day. Lifted his arse for noise, the dirty bastard. Buck teeth. A smell of sardines out of his mouth. He kept trying to feel me till I punched him in the face and told him to fuck off. I was made to stand up for making noise. —Well, Paula; it's not very pleasant, is it? After standing for half an hour. —No, Miss. —Sit down.
I actually did. I didn't faint or fall on the floor but my legs went rubbery on me and I giggled. I suddenly knew that I had lungs because they were empty and collapsing. Charlo Spencer. There he was, over there, leaning against the wall. Fiona nudged me. —There he is. I saw him and I knew who she meant. It couldn't have been anyone else, after all I'd heard about him, after all I'd expected. He was with a gang but all by himself. His hands in his pockets with the thumbs hooked over the denim and a fag hanging from his mouth.
I hate it when I say that, Yeah three times like that, especially when I say it to the kids. It's a habit I got from Charlo. I lost a baby as well. I liked being cold when I was little because there was always somewhere in the house that was warm, somewhere to go into; the kitchen or the living room. They were always warm. The cold pushed you into them. We all fitted, in front of the telly or at the table. I had a corner of Daddy's chair that was all my own. He blew his cigarette smoke so it looked like it was coming out my ears.
The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle