30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy with a foreword by John Walsh
The Irish Quarter
"This is a moment of madness taken to its logical conclusion. This is moving in together in an apartment in a foreign city. This is me three thousand miles from home, friends, family and the life that had once been mine".
There are thirty stories in 30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. So far I have posted on six of them. (I totally endorse purchase of this very fairly priced collection and will provide a publisher's link at the end of this post.) There is also a very interesting introduction by the editor Elizabeth Reapy (I have posted on her very well done short story, "Statues") and a foreword by John Walsh.. Agreeing with John Walsh, I think this book could well be a collector's item one day.
Posting on collections of short stories that include the works of many different authors presents a big challenge, to me at least. I do not personally care for reviews or posts on short story collections that simply have one or two lines on a few of the stories and then gush over the collection as a whole with standard book review quotes. These could in fact easily be written without reading much of the collection and to me it is like going on about a forest without realizing it is made up of trees. Because of the high quality of these stories and the collections ability to acquaint me with contemporary Irish short stories, I now plan to post individually on all of the stories in the collection.
Upon completion of this project, I will list my top five stories.
"Nesting" is about a young couple setting up their first apartment together in a new country, far from home. The story is told by the man. They are cleaning up the place. The man is an aspiring painter, the woman came to Dublin, from New York, on a scholarship to study Neolithic carving. The man was once engaged to what seems to have been fairly high society woman who looked down on on his art school classmates as "barbarians".
There is a lot of very interesting plot action in the story. We learn how the couple form their relationship and we sit in when the woman poses nude for a life studies class in which the man is enrolled. Unless we are saintly we enjoy the account of how she looks naked.
This story is more plot driven than the others from the collection I have so far read and I will leave the rest of the story untold. There is a lot of drinking in the story and we see that alcohol plays a central part in the lives of the characters, as it has in three of the other stories.
I enjoyed this story.
Author Data (from 30 Under 30)
Andrew Fox was born in Dublin in 1985. His stories have appeared in several publications. His first play won the 2012 R T E PJ O'Connor Award for radio drama. He now lives in Massachusetts in the USA.
You can find more information on 30 Under Thirty: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers at the web page of Doire Press.