Louise DeSalvo, author of Vertigo: A Memoir and Virginia Woolf: Sexual Abuse in Her Life and Work, is professor of English at Hunter College.
Edited by Louise DeSalvo, Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy, and Katherine Hogan
Includes stories by Julia O'Faolain, Clare Boylan, Mary Lavin, Edna O'Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Binchy, and Mary Beckett.
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- 5.94(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.75(d)
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This collection of short stories is a delightful beginning sampler for anyone not yet acquainted with contemporary, Irish, women writers. The contributing authors are from the familiar and popular (Maeve Binchy,'Shepherd's Bush') to the lesser known but equally skilled (Brenda Murphy, 'A Curse'). The stories present a woman's view of Irish culture as geographically diverse as the scarred streets of Belfast are to the pastoral but not necessarily peaceful west Republic. I felt a kinship - through common experience of varying intensities - with the writers, due in no small part to the very personal tone of each author. I also felt very lucky to have been born in America. Many of the rights we (women) take for granted in the States are either culturally or legislatively denied to Irish women, even in this new century. The tone of the collection is by no means depressing or strident. In fact, several stories very pointedly demonstrate that it is women who have preserved the fabled wit of the Irish. Their ability to recognize and laugh at the absurdities in life, in love, in the myth of a protective and patriarchal culture is their saving grace. Their humor is potent. Their observations dead on. We can learn much from these women and their stories.