In Mother America and other stories mothers tattoo their children and abduct them; they act as surrogates and they use charms to cure childhood illnesses. The story ‘Letters’ sees an Irish mother cling to love of her son, though he abandoned her in New York, where loneliness is alleviated only by letters she cannot read. In ‘Queen of Tattoo’, Lydia, the tattooed lady from the Groucho Marx song, tries to understand why her son is a bad man.
Set in Ireland and America, as well as Paris, Rome and Mexico, these stories map the lives of parents and the boundaries they cross. Ní Chonchúir’s sinewy prose dazzles as she exposes the follies of motherhood as well as its triumphs. Once again she spotlights the contradictions and fierce loves that shake up the life of the family.
|Publisher:||New Island Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
Read an Excerpt
There was a pregnant woman getting drunk in the back lounge; I could see her through the hatch, from where I sat at the bar. She was drinking and crying, sitting on the red velveteen couch alone. Chuffy wiped glasses, poured another Cidona for me, and served the few other customers. He looked over at the woman then nodded in my direction, as a way of asking if I had seen her. I shrugged, to indicate that I had, and watched her. She looked healthy and out of place. We never got many women in The Cova, especially ones we didn’t know. Most of us were regulars, bent out of shape by loneliness; we welcomed any intrusion.
The woman sobbed loudly and wrapped her hands around her belly, as if it were a beach ball she was about to throw. Her head drooped forward and I could see tears splashing down her shirt. I wondered what was wrong with her. Maybe, I thought, the baby’s father had walked out. Maybe, like most of us, the rough magic of her childhood haunted her and she hoped for a better life for her kid. Or, maybe, she didn’t want the child at all.
Chuffy walked over and dropped a box of tissues onto her table; she looked up, startled. He put his hand on her shoulder.
‘You should think about calling it a night,’ he said.
‘There’s no point.’
‘Drinking for two is not really the thing. You know that.’
The woman grimaced. ‘It’s too late,’ she said, ‘he’s already gone.’
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is by far my favorite collection of short stories!