Thursday, March 22, 2012

Short Stories on Wednesday: Irish Short Stories

First things first, Short Stories on Wednesday now has a new home over at Simple Clockwork. I’m relieved that the meme will keep going and although Risa will be sorely missed, I’m glad Nancy will be taking this forward.

As you all probably know by now, it’s Irish Short Stories Week over at The Reading Life so this week I have for you, 2 Irish stories. Both authors are new to me but after this I’m keen to look up more of their works.

    The story is narrated by an Irishwoman who works at a rehab clinic. She takes us through her seemingly humdrum life and frequently refers to Louis, her ‘companion’. However, you are made aware from the very beginning that there is something very strange about this relationship.
I thought I knew where this was going but I was way off. The premise is an interesting one and O’Donnell draws it out pretty well too.
    Mary O’ Donnell’s first novel ‘The Light-Makers’ was named the Sunday Tribune’s Best New Irish Novel in 1992. Since then, her published fiction includes the novels ‘Virgin and the Boy’, ‘The Elysium Testament’, and more recently a collection of stories, ‘Storm over Belfast’. 

Sightseeing in Louth by Bernadette M. Smyth
    Cousin John from America is visiting Roisin’s family to do some sightseeing and explore his Irish roots. The whole family is determined to help John in every way. Roisin, the black sheep of the family, does her bit by teaching John some revolutionary songs and introducing him to Irish whiskey. A simple sightseeing trip becomes a life-changing event for everyone concerned. This was a very well developed story written in a very simple and original voice.
   This is the second story Bernadette has had published in The Fish Anthology - in 2009 she won the Fish One-Page Prize with 'In The Car'. She was also a runner up in the People's College short story competition 2009.

Both these stories are available online here.

Besides these two I also read dozens of other short stories that were recommended by Mel u and other participants of Irish Short Story Week. Some of my favourite among these were:
2.    The Kith of the Elf Folk by Lord Dunsday
Thanks to Mel u and Free Listens for suggesting these.
I really wanted to read Beer Trip to Llandudno by Kevin Barry. I’ve read great things about it; most recently from Beauty is a Sleeping Cat. Unfortunately I haven’t found it online. Hopefully, I find it at my library.
Irish Short Story week is on till the 31st  March so plenty of time to join in if you’d like to. I look forward to reading more great Irish stories in the days to come.


  1. I've been meaning to join Irish Short Stories all month. Now I only have time to read one story. It's going to be O'Flaherty's "Going Into Exile."

    1. I've heard of 'Going into Exile" but haven't read it yet. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    2. I would be honored if you can join us. I am keep the event going until april 11 now

  2. Thank you for the recommendations; I hadn't read either or even heard of the authors. The one set in the rehab clinic sounds especially interesting to me.

    I wrote up Joyce's story, "The Dead." It's my favorite Joyce story at this point.

    1. The Space between Louis and Me is a very interesting story. I'm off to read your take on The Dead.

  3. I apologize if this comment came in late, but I just want to express my gratitude for your joining Short Stories on Wednesdays. I hope to see you again one of these Wednesdays.