Books·Canadian

Room

Emma Donoghue's bestselling novel is written from the perspective of a five-year-old boy.

Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world... It's where he was born. It's where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack's imagination — the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells; the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma's clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where she's been held since she was nineteen — for seven long years.Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven foot space. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely...

Told in the inventive, funny and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience, and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. (From HarperCollins Publishers)

Room was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award in 2010 and the screen adaptation, also written by Donoghue, was nominated for four Academy Awards. 

From the book

Ma takes her pill from the silver pack that has twenty-eight little spaceships and I take a vitamin from the bottle with the boy doing a handstand and she takes one from the big bottle with a picture of a woman doing Tennis. Vitamins are medicine for not getting sick and going back to Heaven yet. I never want to go, I don't like dying but Ma says it might be OK when we're a hundred and tired of playing. Also she takes a killer. Sometimes she takes two, never more than two, because some things are good for us but too much is suddenly bad.


From Room by Emma Donoghue ©2010. Published by HarperCollins Publishers.

Author interviews

Many authors hand their books over to screenplay writers. Emma Donoghue on the pain and pleasure of adapting your own work. 20:43

More about this book

Other books by Emma Donoghue