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 31, 2012

"The Illusion of Freedom" by Shauna Gilligan

"The Illusion of Freedom" by Shauna Gilligan (2012, 11pages)

Irish Short Stories Week Year Two
March 11 to May 1
Emerging Irish Women Writers

Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, now  set to run until May 1.   To participate all you need do is to post on one Irish Short story or a related matter and let me know about it.   You are also welcome to guest post.  You need not follow my schedule at all.  I am updating all posts by participants periodically and at the end of the event I will do a master post spotlighting the blogs or writings of each participant and it will have  permanent place on the fixed pages below my header picture.

Shauna Gilligan is the fifth Emerging Irish Woman Author on whom I have posted since March 23.   I will be posting on emerging Irish Women writers for the remainder of this event.

Born in Dublin, Gilligan has worked and lived in Mexico, Spain, India and the UK.   She is currently completing a PhD in Writing at the University of Glamorgan, Wales.   Her work has been published widely and has given public readings of her fiction and has presented on writing at conferences in Ireland, UK, Germany and the USA.  Her first novel Happiness Comes From Nowhere will be published by Ward Wood Publishing in June 2012.

One of the hardest things to do in a few pages of fiction is to make your characters uniquely individualized without making them seem outside of the range of the commonplace human experience while creating a vision of people  in whom we can see ourselves. It is this challenge that Gilligan has master brilliantly in "The Illusion of Freedom".   

I have been thinking a lot while reading and trying to post on Irish Short Stories for the last three week about Frank Connor's famous central thesis of his book The Lonely Voice:  A Study of the Short Story (a brilliant and maddening book and the only one worth reading on the short story) that the short story is uniquely about what he called"submerged groups".    By "submerged groups" he means marginalized people belonging to occupations, social groups, or ethic backgrounds that leave them with little voice in society.  A central failing in O'Connor's work, in my opinion, is revealed in his treatment of women but in even his failure he helps us see that one of the greatest"values" in the short story and really in all of literature, is the way the very best writings let us learn to seethe humanity in the Other.  

 I think Gilligan has wonderfully shown us in “The Illusion of Freedom” that the most ordinary seeming person, one who epitomizes normality and main stream social values is, if one goes further into the depths of their lives and characters is also a submerged person.   I will try to say briefly why I think Gilligan’s story is such a powerful work without spoiling the pleasure many others  will have when they read it for the first time.   The story, set in the 1970s in  Dublin and told in the voice of a woman who has just had her first child, a son, is about,  among other things, what can happen to the dynamics in a marriage when a son is born and the wife comes to love the son more than her husband.   Gilligan does a flat out brilliant job of showing us how this changes the relationship of the man and woman and how the sense of the limitless possible futures for a child helps the woman and her sister feel young and freer than they otherwise might.   I cringed when I read this perfect conversation:

Don’t spoil him like that. He’ll turn into a mama’s boy.” His voice is gruff without a trace of how it once whispered.
“Like you?” you reply, not able to look at him, pursing your lips as you apply pressure on each stroke of the boy’s hair.

  The story takes a dramatic turn on the first day of school is all I will say.  I want to quote a bit more from the shimmering prose of Gilligan so that you can get a feel for her work.

Laid out in a neatly penned list, your life is perfectly arranged. There’s an oil crisis, people marching the streets and you hear on the radio of women your age gathering together, eyes painted shocking blues with long lashes. They travel up North on trains from the Republic and bring back illegal contraceptives. All the talk is of the pill as they claim the right to their bodies, fists held high.
Still, you remain here, silent, with the boy holding the household together like the rough tacking you do on the skirts you make. Sepp works in Dublin for a pharmaceutical company. You treat yourself to a gin and tonic every other day. It’s a sunny, south-facing house where you are. On a narrow road, which leads, taking a left, into Dublin city centre, or right, to the Dublin Mountains. To the boy it’s the only home he’s known. There are times when you smile at each other, glad that you have your own memories of different homes where the boy had no part. Other times you forget about the selves you had before his arrival. You’ve overseen the rewiring of the original 1930s mess, tamed the wild garden. Sepp’s clearly made his mark on the house: he painted the door frames cherry red, the garage door canary yellow. And as you prowl the house, pulling the superser heater behind you for warmth, it comes to you: your duty is to nurture him, put a stamp of personality on him. It’s a right transferred by the blood of your womb in a code deciphered by mother and son. Everything written from the moment of conception: his due date, his birth date, his love life, his career, his death.

The  husband comes to stand for, this comes through clearly in Gilligan's depiction of his job and routine, the static closed in future that life brings down on most of us after a while, the son is the limitless freedom of a blank canvas.

Gilligan has kindly done a very insightful guest post on  Orfhlaith Foyle's short story collection Somewhere in Minnesota for Irish Short Story Week Year Two.   I  will be publishing a short story of hers very soon also and will  post on at least one more of her stories during ISSW Year Two..   She may also do a post on Desmond Hogan during Desmond Hogan Week.

There is a link to "Illusion of Freedom" and several  others stories on  Shauna's Writing.
She also has a very interesting blog where she talks about the craft and business of writing.

I am very glad I got the opportunity to read and post on "Illusion of Freedom".  If you are "married with children" you for sure will nod your head in recognition while you read it.  It is a wonderful story and was a pure delight to read.   I read it three times

Mel u

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Irish Short Story-March 29 Update

Irish Short Story Week Year Two
March 11 to April 31
List of Posts by Participants
Some Great Anthologies
Update on My Plans

Dublin Book Sale-1960

Resources and Ideas for Irish Short Story Week

Writers of Irish short stories pretty much have set the tone for much of the cultural and literary trends of the last 100 years.   Bram Stroker and Joseph Sheridan La Fanu basically started the vampire craze that is still going strong all over the world.   Oscar Wilde helped create a new sensibility, that has opened up an entire new way of looking at the world.    Among Irish short story writers are James Joyce, most important 20th century and beyond novelist, Samuel Beckett the most important 20th century playwright, and William Butler Yeats, for sure the greatest poet of the Twentieth century and for me one of the very greatest of all times.    Stepping down from Mount Parnasssus, we have wonderful writers like my literary love, Elizabeth Bowen to represent the Anglo-Irish.   Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu is considered among the very best writers of Ghost stories.   Not bad for a country just a little bit bigger than the American state of West Virginia and less than one percent the size of Australia.

Irish Short Story Week Year Two will now be open until at least April 31.   All are welcome to join us.   All you need do is to do a post on an Irish Short Story or a related matter (for example a biography of Elizabeth Bowen) and let me know about it.   You are also welcome to do a guest post on my blog.   Just let me know if you are interested in this option.

The most important reason I do periodic updates is to be sure that everyone knows of the truly great posts that the participants in Irish Short Story Week Year Two (yes long week) have done.  If someone is left out of this list it is more oversight and please let me know and I will fix it.   Thanks so much for joining in and plenty of time left.   

You Can Never Have Too Many Books "No Angel" by Bernie Mcgill
Susan has also now done a post on James Joyce's "The Sisters" that I learned a lot from-

Beauty is a Sleeping Cat Stories by Kevin Barry, James Joyce, and Elizabeth Bowen 

Free Listens  "The Wine Breath" by John Mcgahern

Lakeside Musings- "The Empty Family" by Colum Toibin

Parrish Lantern  Overview of Irish Folk and Fairy Tales by William Butler Yeats-Parrish Lantern now has a wonderful post on a story by Gerald Griffin about the horrors of the famine years and a folk take from William Trevors' Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories

A Simple Clockwork  Two Oscar Wilde Fairy Tales-Nancy,  the Host of Short Stories on Wednesday has done two illuminating posts on stories of Marie Edgeworth, the first serious Irish Woman short story writer

Buried In Print an Anthology of stories by Mary Lavin, In the Middle of the Field

"My eternal gratitude to all the
From Kafka to Kintergarden "The First Confession"  by Frank O'Connor, "The Reaping Race" by Liam O'Flaherty, "Janey Mary" by James Plunket, and "The Confirmation Suit" by Brendan Behan.  There is a new post on The Space between Louis and Me by Mary O'Donnell and Sightseeing in Louth by Bernadette M. Smyth.  Both of these are new to me authors.  

Vapor Trails  "The Old Man of the Sea" by Maeve Brennan, and also "Something Special" which is Iris Murdoch's only published story story

New Posts since the first update

The Sill of the World has an excellent post on "The Dead" by James Joyce

Bibliophiliac  has done a great post on "The Will" which  Frank O'Connor says is Mary Lavin's best story

Shauna Gilligan, a widely published short story writer from Dublin has contributed a very welcome guest post to Irish Short Story Week Year Two  devoted to Somewhere in Minnesota,  a powerful collection of short stories by Órfhlaith Foyle 

Jillian of A Room of One's Own has done a very insightful moving post on "The Dead" by James Joyce

A Work in Process has done great posts on "The Happy Autumn Fields" by Elizabeth Bowen, this is one of Bowen's WWII stories and is a great cultural treasure.  There is also a very good post on William Trevor's "The Ballroom of Romance".

Winston's Dad has posted on a story by Oliver Goldsmith "The History of the Man in Black

Tales from the Reading Room has done a great post on Colm Toibin's new book New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families.

Vishy's Blog has done a wonderful post on two stories by James Joyce, and one by James Stephens, Elizabeth Bowen and Liam O'Flattery as well as six folk and fairy tales.   

Novroz of Polychome Interest, cohost of Indonesian Short Story Week has posted on some of the paranormal folk tales of Thomas Crofton.

semi-fictional has done a great post one of Elizabeth Bowen's World War Two Stories, "Mysterious Kor"

ds of Third Story Window has done a very interesting post on  an ancient Irish myth, The Children of Lair.  She will be doing a post on a WWII short story of Elizabeth Bowen also.

I am having a great time with this event, otherwise I would not keep extending it.   Traffic on my blog has reached new highs and The Reading Life is getting some unexpected new attention from outside the book blog world.  

Fairy and Folk Tales Week is Over.  Emerging Irish Women Writers week was set to end today but as I am finding such great stories I will continue this until the end of the event.  At the end of the event I will do a post saluting all those who joined in the event.

First Week of April Susan of You Can Never Have To Many Books and I plan a joint post on 4 short stories by Bernie McGill (all can be read online)

I have also been having a lot of fun listening to a wide variety of Irish radio stations the last few weeks.  I use for this on my Ipad (also works on Iphones)  an application called Tune in Radio.  Some stories call for a haunting Celtic lament others for some good old fashioned pub music.   

I wish to offer my great gratitude to  the Sayajirao Gaelwad Institute  for their patronage of The Reading Life.

New Events

Stories about Priests Week (weeks will overlap)

Stories by William Trevor, Daniel Crockery, Frank O'Connor, Colm Tobias and more.

Ghost Story Week, starring Charlotte Riddell,

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Elizabeth Bowen will be back along with several real ghost stories from Charlotte Riddell.   Oscar Wilde might stop by also.

"Mel's Buying"-Rory

E. R. Week?

Have you seen ER, the medical show?  This is nothing like that.  Details to be revealed as it starts

Nobel Prize Winners Only Day

Self explanatory.

I still have about 30 short stories from the anthologies of Frank O'Connor, William Trevor and Joseph O'Connor I want to post on.   

I have recently found  two anthologies of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry edited by EM Reapy that focus on the work of emerging Irish writers, all very recent works.

This title and it companion volume are both available at a very fair price as a Kindel book on Amazon.


A Great Source of works
by Emerging Irish Writers-
short stories and poetry

Another Month, I love it, I even like Rory today-
There are lot of online journals where you can find short stories  by emerging and established writers.  For well known writers, check The New Yorker.    

If you have any issues, questions, complaints, leave me a comment.   

Great short story writers from all over the world may also stop by and say hello during April.   

Lord Dunsany will show us how Flash fiction should be done!

Mel u

"Fergus O'Mara and the Air-Demons" by Patrick Weston Joyce

"Fergus O'Mara and the Air-Demons" by Patrick Weston Joyce (1879, 7 pages)

Irish Short Story Week Year Two
March 11 to April 11
Folk and Fairy Tales
March 29 to March 29

Resources and Ideas for Irish Short Story Week

Irish Short Story Week Year Two will be ongoing until at least April 11.   Everyone is invited to join us.
All you are asked to do is post on one Irish short story or a related matter and let me know about it.  Guests posts are also welcome, just contact me if you are willing to do a guest post for Irish Short Story Week Year Two.   You need not at all follow my schedule.  I have also expanded the event this year to include Irish-Australian Women.

Patrick Weston Joyce
This is the last of my posts on stories from two collections of stories by William Butler Yeats, Folk and Fairy Tales of the Irish Peasants and Irish Fairy Tales.  Both collections contain a number of stories selected by Yeats as well as an introduction  and commentary.   These books should be your first stop for understanding this very important foundation of the culture of the Irish short story writer.   If they were also your last stop you would also probably be OK outside of a serious interest in the area.   Fans of  the Harry Potter books, like myself,  will recognize a lot of things in these stories.    All of the stories I have posted on so far are fun to read.   

1879 saw the last of main  famines in Ireland.  Unlike the other famines there was mostly widespread hunger.   The improvements came from money sent home by those who had left the country, improved food distribution and the British government actually tried to help a bit.   The Irish Land League was formed to help tenant farmers.  

Patrick Watson Joyce (1827 to 1914-Ballyorgan, Ireland).  By profession he was a teacher and helped reorganize the national school system.  He received a B.A. from Trinity College Dublin.   He is considered a key figure in preserving the roots of the Irish Language.   He produced many works on Irish Culture and History.   From 1906 to 1908 he was president of The Royal Society for the Preservation of the Antiquities of Ireland.  

Many Irish folk and fairy tales are about the effects of the capricious interference in the lives of people by spirits, fairies, demons, and wee people, of a huge variety.  (One can go very deep into this)  Part of this, in my opinion, came from the sense of not having control of their lives that the turmoil, famines, and rule of the English vested in the Irish culture.   As legacy of the famine years, one also sees a lot of people described as "half wits" in the stories, people who grew up without enough food for their brains to develop.  The famines did not just get people and drive them out of Ireland, it deformed the survivors.  One can no more understand the Irish short story without facing the consequences of the famine years than one could understand the post war Japanese novel (one of my core interests) without having heard of WWII. 

"Fergus O'Mara and the Air-Demons" is the scariest of the Irish Folk and Fairy tales I have read for Irish Short Story Week Year Two.  Of all the demons, the Air-Demons hate humans the most.   The story centers on a farmer, his wife and their seven year old daughter who dies in the opening lines of the story.  She is very calm in the face of death, asking only that her parents put a lite candle in each of her hands as she dies.   Her father is a very good man, partially because he is a just a good man and partially because he believes if he goes away from the teachings of the church, he will fall pray to the Air-Demons.   The farmer is on his way to Mass one morning and he sees some hounds chasing a large deer.   The father joins the chase and he ends up missing mass.   He finds he was lead by Air-Demons who took the form of dogs and a deer to miss Mass, something he never did.  Suddenly from the dogs and the deer he hears evil laughter.   The he sees his daughter floating along with the air-demons.   Somehow his actions caused his daughter to become an air-demon.

The folk lore of Ireland is always lurking somewhere in the depths of an Irish Short Story.

Mel u

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Beast and the Bear" by Ethel Rohan

"Beast and the Bear" by Ethel Rohan (2011, 3 pages)

Irish Short Story Week Year Two
March 12 to April 11
Emerging Irish Women Writers Week
March 23 to March 29

So far I have posted on excellent stories by Kate Ferguson, Sheila Mannix and EM Reapy.   Yesterday I read three times (and once more just now) a story by Ethel Rohan, "Beast and the Bear"  that simply amazed me by the sheer wonder and beauty of it.  I could not read anything else for a long time after reading this story.    If  Flannery O'Connor and the Grimm Brothers collaborated on a short story then maybe they could come up with something close to "Beast and the Bear".   Normally I am pretty secure in my mind on the my reactions to stories but I wanted to be sure that this story is truly great, maybe I could be overreacting I thought, so I emailed the story to several people whose literary judgments I have great respect for and they all loved the story also.   

In posting on a very short work of fiction you have to be careful to allow other readers to read it without knowing what will happen in the story so I will try to explain why I like this story so much without spoiling the plot.   

The story is told in the first person by a woman living in a wilderness area, one where there are wild bears.
The narration is done is a sort of matter of fact way.   I will quote a bit from the story as I really find the prose style of Rohan hypnotically beautiful
Ethel Rohan
"I wandered away from our family’s picnic and managed to get lost. I walked, called and stumbled, felt my skeleton shake. Every tree looked the same. Everywhere, the same lid of blue-turning-to-gray sky. There seemed no way out, the trees my bars, the sky my dungeon’s ceiling. I heard men shout and an animal’s terrible roar.
Four hunters had cornered the bear against boulders. They stared down their shaky rifles, licked their lips. The bear rose up on his hind legs, a black tower. His roar, his flail from side to side, shook the branches and made the leaves chant.
“On the count of three,” the skinny hunter said.
I raced into the clearing, shouted.
The men whirled around and the bear charged through them, knocked three of the four to the dirt.
That night, safely back at home, the bear beckoned me from my bed and carried me on his back into the woods, thanked me with honey. Many nights over the years, the bear and I played and danced together amongst the trees. We gorged on berries and honey, shaped crowns from twigs, and learned to sign to each other, to tell our stories, secrets and dreams. Until one night, a young woman at last, I didn’t want to leave him, didn’t want to go back to town.
Because I loved Bear, the townspeople said I couldn’t be human. Said I was a beast.  When Bear walked upright, took to wearing overalls, and we set-up house together, they shouted at us on the streets, fired dirt and stones.
Once my baby bump showed, they stole into the woods and set fire to our cottage. They dragged us from our bed and threatened to hang us by our necks, my mother among them. My father begged for mercy and the mob finally allowed us to run, to take a bag each on our backs. They warned us never to return.
We trudged deeper into the woods. The same woods where I’d first met Bear, when as a child I’d rescued him. All the animals also rejected us. The bears cut us with their claws and chased us off. Bear apologized and cried, said I deserved a real man, real love, said he should never have allowed any of this to happen. I pulled his hands from his face and kissed him hard, climbed on top of him.".

There is much more in this story.   It reads like a folk tale.   Susan of You Can Never Have Too Many Books told me that a woman marrying a bear is a story often found in the mythology of American Indians.  I can see this in the story.   It also seems like it could be an Eastern European fable as it makes references to villagers in a town driving people out and a lynch mob.   In spite of these clearly present cultural echos, Rohan has created a marvelous completely original work of art in "Beast and the Bear". 

As I read this I wondered if it was a commentary on marriage somehow, how passion turns to routine, then sometimes violence and indifference. Maybe it is about the alleged civilizing influences of women.    It is also a kind of allegory about the relationship of man to the animal world and a commentary on the way those whose behavior is beyond norms are treated.   It is also, I think, about the need of a patriarchal  society to control and own its women.      As I finished it I was driven to reflect if the woman was the beast either because she acted way outside of normal behavior or because she used an animal for her own purposes.  Beast is self-conscious and Bear is not.  There is a lot to think about in this story.  I think it would generate a lot of discussion in a class room setting.  

You can, and really I am urging you to provide yourself with the wonderful experience, read "Beast and the Bear" online at Bluestem Magazine, a literary journal published since 1966 by the English Department of Eastern Illinois University.

Rohan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and now lives in San Francisco, California with her husband and two daughters.

Ethel Rohan is the author of Hard to Say, PANK, 2011 and Cut Through the Bone, Dark Sky Books, 2010, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize.  She has also published a number of short stories.  

Details about her books can be found on her Amazon page.   Both collections are offered at very fair prices.   

There are links to a number of stories you can read online and more information about her writing career on her webpage.   She has a very interesting blog where she talks about her work.

I asked her who some of her favorite Irish women authors were and here is her response:

"Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite Irish women writers:

Anne Enright
Mary Costello
Órfhlaith Foyle
Nuala O'Faolain
Emma Donoghue
Edna O'Brien
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
Madeleine D'Arcy
Nuala Ní Chonchúir
and Eimear Ryan "

I flat out loved this story, I will never forget it.  I am eager to read more of her work and may do so before the door finally closes on this year's Irish Short Story Week.

If you have any suggestions for Irish Short Story Week Year Two please let me know.  I at first said I would post on seven emerging women writers but I am probably going to expand it to 14, at least.   

Mel u

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak" by Gerald Griffin

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak" by Gerald Griffin (1831, 10 pages)

Irish Short Story Week is
now extended to April 11

March 23 to March 29
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasants

Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, March 12 to April 11.  All you need do is post on one short story by an Irish author and send me a comment or an email and I will include it in the master post at the end of the challenge.  

In 1831 the Dublin Zoo opens.  There are patches of unrest throughout much of agrarian Ireland.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is published.  Slave trading is forbidden in Brazil.  

Gerald Griffin (1803 to 1840-Limerick, Ireland) began his writing career working for a newspaper and then began to write fiction.   His most famous work is a novel centering on a murder, The Collegians.   He died at thirty six of typhus.    I have previously posted on his terrifying story of the famine years, "The Brown Man" and Parrish Lantern has just done a very good post on this story.

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak"  has an awfully lot of twists and turns and in these twists and turns we learn a lot about what the famine years have done to the peasants (I am not fond of this term but I will use it).   There are three central characters in the story, two cousins, all that is left of their family, the daughter of a king and the king.  As the story unwinds each of the brothers in turn put the other brother's eyes out with a hot iron rod, one of the bothers learns from a little person how cure himself and ends up married to a kings daughter after he cures him of blindness.     I

I think the capricious violence and the really reaching for it happy ending reflect how very little control people had of their own lives.  This was a fun story and it is too bad Griffin burned most of his manuscripts a couple of years before he died.  

Mel u

"Carmilla, be sure and let
Mr Griffin know you are 150 year old
"Mr Griffin, why so stressed, let me
help you relax"-Carmilla

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Irish Fiction and the Classics Club

Classic Irish Fiction
The Classics Club

When Jillian of A Room of One's Own announced her Classics Club I was very happy about it.   I started reading classics with Classic  Comics a few decades ago and have been reading the real thing pretty much nonstop for a long time now.   I thought what reason do I have to come up, as participants are asked to do, with a list of 50 plus books to read within the next five years.  With any luck I will read hundreds but then I thought the club is not just about me personally, it is about a band of people joining together to promote reading of the classics.   Then I thought, why not make a list of 50 works of fiction by Irish authors that I want to read to increase my understanding of the Irish Short Story, in time for ISSW Year Three in 2013 and Year four in 2014 and hopefully a while longer!

Here is my list.   Some are rereads which I will notate.  I will try to explain my reasons for some picks.  

1.  Ulysses by James Joyce-reread
2.  Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-by James Joyce-reread
3.  Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce  (who am I kidding)

4.  Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift -reread
5.  The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith.
6.  The Collegian by Gerald Griffin
7.  Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
8.  The House by the Church Yard by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
9.  The Leprechaun by Seamus O'Kelly
10.  On the Irish Shore by Martin Ross
11.  Tales of the Irish R.M. by Elizabeth Somerville and Martin Ross
12.  Portrait of Dorian Grayby Oscar Wilde-reread
13 to 15-Collected Short Stories of Frank O'Connor, Sean O'Faolain and Liam Flattery
16.  Castle Racknet by Maria Edgeworth
17   Untilled Field by George Moore  May 5, 2012
18.  Death in Munster by George Moore
19.  Ester Waters by George Moore  May 24
20.  Book Kerith by George Moore
21.  A Munster Twilight by Daniel Crockery
22.  In A Cafe-a selection of the Stories of Mary Lavin
23.  The Best of Frank O'Connor, edited by Julian Barnes
24.  August is  a Wicked Month by Edna O'Brien May 15, 2012
25 to 32.  Eight novels by Elizabeth Bowen
33 to 46-13 works by William Carleton-The Black Prophet reviewed May 9
47.  Antartica by Claire Keegan-will be a classic  May 10, 2012
48.  Mothers and Son By Colm Toibin -also will be a classic  May 5, 2012
49.  Irish Murdoch-something!
50.  Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket-reread
51.  Collected Poetry of William Butler Yeats.

  I  will give myself five years for these titles.  I still have numerous other interests and hope I will develop new ones also!

My thanks to Jillian for all of her hard work in setting this up.

Mel u

"Jamie Freel and the Young Lady" by Letitia Maclintock

"Jamie Freel and the Young Lady" by Letitia Maclintock (1878, 12 pages)

Irish Short Story Week Year Two
March 12 to April 11
Irish Folk and Fairy Tales
March 23 to March 29

"Plenty of time to join us"-
Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, March 12 to April 11 (yes long week).   All you need do is post on one short story by an Irish author and send me a comment or an email and I will include it in the master post at the end of the challenge.  You need not follow my schedule and I am happy to welcome guest posters.

Jamie Freel and the Young Lady" is one of several stories by Letitia Maclintock (1857 to 1881) that William Butler Yeats included in Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasants and Irish Fairy Tales.  There is not a great deal of information about her online, or at least that my quick research found.   She only lived to age 24, she was from Donegal, Ulster Ireland.   Most all her stories were first published in the Dublin University Magazine, as was this story.   She never had the chance to produce any longer works.  If anyone knows more about her life, please leave a comment with details.

Jamie Freel is the sole support of his widowed mother, lots and lots of widows and widowers in the Irish short story, for very logical reasons.   He was considered a very good lad and son by all the neighbors.  There was just one problem.   He has been observed by neighbors who are never seen by mortals but for May Day Eve and Halloween.   There is an old castle near the village and it is known that it is the home of the "wee folk"
"The Best Leprechaun story  ever is Stephen Vincent Benet"s
"The Luck of the Irish", all about me"-Rory

"Every Halloween were the ancient windows lighted up, and passers-by saw little figures  fitting to and fro inside the building, while they heard music of pipes and flutes.  It was well known that the fairy revels took  place; but nobody had the courage to intrude on them."

Everybody but Jamie that is!.   I will leave the main plot unspoiled as it is a fun story, especially when the fairies take Jamie flying through the air to Dublin.

You can find her stories in Manybooks in the two books by Yeats I have already referenced.

Mel u