Barnacle Soup and Other Stories from West Ireland

Overview

Ireland is known throughout the world for its rich and vibrant storytelling. Josie Gray is a proud inheritor of this tradition, a yarn-spinner whose evocative and authentic stories are steeped in the rural west of Ireland community to which he belongs.

Beautifully crafted, subtly paced, and richly textured, Gray's stories vividly and affectionately bring to life a disparate castoff characters and recreate the fabric of their everyday lives. Disputes, laughter, courting, death, ...

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Overview

Ireland is known throughout the world for its rich and vibrant storytelling. Josie Gray is a proud inheritor of this tradition, a yarn-spinner whose evocative and authentic stories are steeped in the rural west of Ireland community to which he belongs.

Beautifully crafted, subtly paced, and richly textured, Gray's stories vividly and affectionately bring to life a disparate castoff characters and recreate the fabric of their everyday lives. Disputes, laughter, courting, death, drink and general all-round skullduggery are the other of the day as Gray skillfully weaves together myth and fact, truth and near-truth.

Captivated by these tales, acclaimed poet Tess Gallagher worked with Gray to give his oral stories written form. The result is a stunning collection that preserves the intimacy, melody and rhythm of Gray's voice.

Beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned linocuts, Barnacle Soup is a lyrical feast for all those who love hearing and reading stories.

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What People Are Saying

Haruki Murakami
"This is a most unordinary kind of book. Josie Gray can tell stories. When he speaks about a dog, I would like to touch that dog. When he writes about a song, I would like to sing that song. This is what I call a good story."
Ciaran Carson
"Gray and Gallagher collude and collogue to produce stories full of deadpan and deadly accurate wit."
Leland Bardwell
"A remarkable evocation of the long dark winter nights in rural Ireland. An Ireland of rush lamps and candles, and Ireland of the storyteller, the seanchaĆ­, who held such an important place in the heart of the parish. Josie Gray has recaptured these humorous yet touching anecdotes with skill and sensitivity."
Padraigin Ni Uallachain & Len Graham
"A colourful and vibrant pot of stories simmering in the rich tradition of oral Irish storytelling . . . delightful and true."
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin & Len Graham
"A colourful and vibrant pot of stories simmering in the rich tradition of oral Irish storytelling . . . delightful and true."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597660365
  • Publisher: Eastern Washington University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 142
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSIE GRAY was born on the shores of Lough Arrow and has lived in counties Waterford, Wexford and Sligo. He has worked as a fruit salesman, barman, farmer and rate collector, and in various family businesses, hauling turf, fruit, sand and gravel. He started painting in the mid-1990s and has exhibited in Ireland and the US. In his retirement he fishes, gardens, paints and tells the odd story.

TESS GALLAGHER, poet, essayist, short-story and screen writer, was born in Washington State. She has published many distinguished collections of poetry, including Dear Ghosts in 2007 and Midnight Lantern, which will be released on October 1, 2011. She was encouraged by her late husband, Raymond Carver, to write short stories, which were published in The Lover of Horses (1986) and At the Owl Woman Saloon (1996), and a new volume of selected stories entitled The Man from Kinvara.

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Table of Contents

Keeping Stories Alive

THE BEST BLOOD IN EUROPE
A hare on the chest
The Elbow
Surrounded by weasels
The best blood in Europe
A stray bullet and sick cattle
An Irish solution

A FIDDLE IN THE BOAT
A blind tongue
A fiddle in the boat
A mouse on the shoe
Face wound
A bad night for dogs
A close appraisal

A FOX AND A ONE-LEGGED GOOSE
A wheelbarrow on the bog
A wild hand
A fox and a one-legged goose
A golden goose
The rate inspector

A BEAUTIFUL SINGER
A lake in the boat
Offspring
A beautiful singer
A genius of a dog

A BRIDGE OF SWANS
Barnacle soup
The pig factory
And out of it he could not get
Tommy Flynn and his bealding
Enigma
A bridge of swans

Acknowledgments

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