The Instructor

Scrupulous, vivid detailing of emotion, compulsion, struggle—bloody awful old love…It’s chilling, the way you feel the artist in her, not just the women, going under. The huge disparity between what one lover is ready to give and the other is able to take—when you realize what her role in his life is and his in hers—that’s to me the real discovery. And that’s when the story transcends this story, these particular people. It doesn’t say, “Good thing she got away from that asshole, about time she figured him out” in the standard, boring feminist style. It says something like, “Look—this is how we are, this is how we live.” Alice Munro (back cover blurb)

Cover story for AMERICAN WAY: the American Airlines in-flight magazine
Shortlisted for Discover Great New Writers, Barnes and Noble, U.S.

‘Ireland’s prose captures the experience of extremity while managing, for the most part, to avoid indulgence. The Instructor is a discomforting portrait of obsession; but its retrospective construction enables the reader, like Simone, to see beyond obsession and to revel in release.’ Washington Post

‘Readers who hankered for more Ann Ireland after eagerly gobbling up her debut novel, A Certain Mr. Takahashi, have found themselves disappointed for over a decade now – Ireland’s Seal First Novel Award-winning tale of girlhood infatuation hit bookstore shelves way back in 1985. But crack the spine of her new novel (The Instructor) dive into its opening pages and the long wait for seconds is easily forgiven. Writing as sophisticated and carefully worked as Ireland’s simply takes time to produce.’  ..’ a conflicted and haunting novel, infused with nostalgia on the one hand and an ashen atmosphere of lost innocence on the other, that is also compulsively readable.’ NOW Magazine

‘(Ireland) has a gift for alternating dialogue with long paragraphs describing complex emotional shifts. These nuanced interior musings mirror the unstated counterpoint to conversations between two people who have an involved history, who know one another’s thresholds – emotionally, intellectually physically. Ireland has created a physical look on the page for this state.... she is a strong graphic writer.’ Ottawa Citizen

‘... she presents a hypnotic work in which clarity and ambiguity collide like light and shadow, like self and other, like innocence and guilt.’ Georgia Straight

‘Ireland’s rich evocation of the texture and taste of Mexico and Simone's coming of age, make THE INSTRUCTOR an intense yet highly satisfying read; the student far surpassed the Instructor.’ Vancouver Sun

‘The novel contains a gentle but strong eroticism; sexuality is handled with light, deft, and subtle brush strokes.’ Edmonton Journal

‘... a brilliant study of power and  obsession in a relationship.’ Quill and Quire