You’d be forgiven for thinking you knew Edna O’Brien from her tales of passionate, unrepentent women. Her early career, after all, reads like a masterclass in succès de scandale – books censored, burned – and every novel since is rumoured to have been written long-hand, in violet-coloured ink. In an interview with The Paris Review in 1984, she set out her belief that “one must be one’s own water diviner” and continues to mine her inexhaustable reserves of human understanding to reach the deepest and most fundamental rivulets within. Yet not one work from her heart-achingly masterful, thirty-strong oeuvre lays as much of O’Brien’s soul bare as Country Girl: A Memoir, released earlier this month to unanimous applause. Here, in a candid conversation with AnOther, she shares the story of its inception.