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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Bindis" by Shauna Gilligan

"Bindis" by Shauna Gilligan (2011, five pages)

Irish Short Story Week Two
March 1 to July 1
Emerging Women Writers
Shauna Gilligan

Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week.   I have now advanced Emerging Irish Women Writers to a Full Irish Short Story Week Year Two Event.  So far I have posted on seven writers.  This my second post on a work by Shauna Gilligan.  I previously posted on her marvelous short story about the consequences of a first child on a marriage, "The Illusion of Freedom".   Shauna Gilligan  also has kindly done a very insightful guest post on  Orfhlaith Foyle's short story collection Somewhere in Minnesota.

I prefer to post on short stories one at a time rather than do a collective post on the short stories of a writer. I think the process helps me understand the story better and when I am a reader wondering if I should invest my time and money in a collection of short stories I  prefer to read and see that someone thought enough of the writer to post on her or his stories one at a time. I am very glad and honored to be posting once again on Shauna Gilligan, this time for her story "Bindis" centering a woman and her and her husband's reaction to her miscarriage. 

"Bindis" is told in the first person by a woman, perhaps in her early thirties or so, who is an attorney and is married to a man nearly fifty.   She characterizes the man as half way between being like his mother and his father and she tells us it is as though he never really found a center.  

The woman, a  few months pregnant, feels herself miscarrying in the kitchen.  She calls out for her husband but he cannot hear her as she knew he would be upstairs playing chess on the computer and wearing headphones with music blasting away.  He does sound a bit underdeveloped for near fifty.

The heart of the story is in the reaction of the woman, her husband, and other people to her miscarriage.  Both the husband and the wife are trying to smother than deeper emotions as is wonderfully portrayed by Gilligan.  The haunting line "People don't have children for all sorts of reasons" provides a chilling leitmotif for "Bindis".

I  really like this story and think Gilligan goes deeply into her characters in just a few pages.

There is a link to "Bindis" 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.

The online publication in which "Bindis" appears cannot be opened on an Ipad.

Before ISSW2 is over her work will be featured several more times.

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

Mel u


shaunag said...

Thank you, Mel, for posting on my fiction. It is fascinating for writers seeing how readers 'read' our fiction.

Mel u said...

shaunag-my pleasure-one of the hard parts of being an author is that once one of your works is out in the world, other people will decide what it means!-the more successful a writer is the less she or he "owns" their works-I will be posting on more of your work soon-I hope I get it half way right at least!