Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Two Stories by Roddy Doyle-Irish Short Stories Week

"Sleep"  (2008, 4 pages)  and "Ash"  (2010, 2 pages)  both by Roddy Doyle

  The New Yorker 
Day Six
Roddy Doyle

The New Yorker magazine has had a very important role to play in the development of the Irish Short Story.   Most of the post WWII greats of the Irish Short Story have been published in the magazine.    Most stories are from four to six pages long.   The magazine also pays quite well and has helped writers devote themselves full time to their craft.   The magazine has very kindly allowed some of the stories to be read by anyone who cares to go to their online archives.    Most of the big names have been published in The New Yorker.   All of the stories I will post on today are from the archives of  the magazine (I will provide links).  

Roddy Doyle (1968-Dublin)  won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.   He has published nine novels and  a number of short stories.   The two stories I will post on today are both about marriages, told from the point of view of the man.   One marriage is a wonderful success, a great love story.  The other is about a failed marriage that the husband does not quite fathom the reasons for it failure and neither did I.   I guess that is part of he mystery of life a very skilled writer can capture.

"Sleep" starts out with a young couple in the opening stages of their relationship.    The man loves looking at the woman sleeping.   She has the peace he needs.    In the next paragraph we jump 26 years ahead.   I really loved how Doyle got us through so many years in such a compressed fashion.   When the man learns he has colon cancer his first thought is that he is glad he has it and not his wife.    There is mystery at the heart of this story.   I liked it a lot and think others will also, especially those with long term relationships.

You can read it HERE

"Ash"  also center on a man whose wife has just left him.  We and he never learn why, really.   I really liked the conversations the man had with his brother about the breakup.   Doyle does a really good job with conversations.    "Ash"  is really a good read.   Doyle has at least several stories in the archives and I hope to read them soon.    I will post on them, probably in one post.

You can read "Ash" HERE 

Roddy Doyle's Official Web Page   -you can download for free a brand new short story by Doyle-

Mel u


Rebecca Reid said...

these sound very interesting, i've bookmarked this page to come back and read them...

Mel u said...

Rebecca Reid-thanks for the comments-I hope you enjoy Doyle-

JoAnn said...

I'd like to read these stories by Roddy Doyle... have been enjoying your Irish Short Story Week posts, too.