Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests





Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Room 313" by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

"Room 313" by Nuala Ní Chonchúir (2012, 4 pages)

"I knew you were too good-looking to be Irish"

I am always glad to see a new short story by Nuala Ní Chonchúir, one of my favorite contemporary  writers. I have previously posted on her most recent collection of short stories which I really liked, Mother America and a collection of her wonderful poetry, The  Juno Charm, which includes an interview with her. I have a copy of another of her collections of short stories Welcome to the World of Men and other Stories and I plan to post about it during the 2013 Irish short story event on The Reading Life, set to begin March 1, 2013, hopefully.

"Room 313" appears in Five Dials, a new to me online literary journal.   There are also stories by Kevin Barry and Lydia Davis in the same issue.  (I will provide a link at the bottom of my post, which will be brief as I mostly want my readers to know they can read this beautiful story for free).

The story is about a woman from the Ukraine working as a hotel maid in Ireland.    It is told in a very creative fashion as if the narrator is talking to the maid.   We follow her as she enters one of the rooms she has to clean up.   We learn of the kind of guests she likes to clean up after, business travelers as they are very neat and families with children as they often leave behind toys and other things she can give to her own children.   Lovers are the  worse as they make a terrible mess of the bed, leaving nasty stains all over the room.   She misses her daughter back home, she never hears from her much anymore.

The head house keeper and some of the other maids will not clean up 313 as they think it is bad luck.   You do not mind as you got a hundred pound tip from a guest in the room so you see it as your lucky room.

The maid has a very interesting encounter with a guest in the room.   I did not see it coming.

"Room 313" is a very interesting perfectly done story.   We meet and get to know a hotel maid, your voiceless person, something sort of big happens in her life and we see how she reacts to it.   We also get to know one of the guests, though only a little.

The Five Dials webpage is here.   I took a quick look at several issues of Five Dials and there appear to be some very interesting stories by well known authors in the back issues.


Author Biography


Born in Dublin in 1970, Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a full-time fiction writer and poet, living in Galway county. She has published four collections of short fiction, three poetry collections - one in an anthology, and one novel. Nuala holds a BA in Irish from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Translation Studies (Irish/English) from Dublin City University. She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers' centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library. Nuala teaches creative writing on a part-time basis.




Born in Dublin in 1970, Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a full-time fiction writer and poet, living in Galway county. She has published four collections of short fiction, three poetry collections - one in an anthology, and one novel. Nuala holds a BA in Irish from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Translation Studies (Irish/English) from Dublin City University. She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers' centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library. Nuala teaches creative writing on a part-time basis.

You can learn more about her works and purchase her book on her very well done webpage.

Mel u




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