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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Saturday's Kiss" by Kate Dempsey

"Saturday's Kiss" by Kate Dempsey (2012, 3 pages)

The Irish Quarter:  A Celebration of the Irish Short Story
March 11 to July 1

Kate Dempsey

" As I watched, the girl rested her head on his shoulder and he turned and kissed her. It must have lasted less than a second but by the time their lips had parted, I was in the next room feeling twisted in my stomach. Had Mike and I ever been like that? So demonstrative? So close?"-

Please consider joining us for this event.     Everything you need to participate is in the resources page, including links to 1000s of short stories, from brand new ones to stories now in the public domain.   Guests posts are also welcome.   Emerging Irish Women is now a full term event.   Kate Dempsey is the 12th author including in this series.  If someone does an online event in 2030 celebrating the Irish short story, I think some of the writers I have featured so far will be included.   

Some short stories you can sit back and be aloof and just read it and if you like pass your judgment as to the worth of the story, its quality, where it belongs in the great corpus of short stories and some you just are forced to take personally.   When I read this story about a married woman, who still loves her husband but who misses the displays of affection and love her husband Mike once gave her, it made me realize I probably do not show my wonderful wife the affection she deserves.    That "Saturday's Kiss" can make me see the flaw in my behavior demonstrates the power of Dempsey's work.  

As the story opens the woman, the story is narrated in the first person, has her Saturday  off from her life at home with her sons and her husband.  When she refers to her husband as her "biggest boy" I took a hit!  She starts off by dropping her car off at the garage.  There are lots of very insightful lines and perfect turns of phrases in "Saturday's Kiss", this is one of them:  "A middle-aged woman becomes invisible to everyone bar other middle-aged women".   I really laughed out loud when the woman tells us her husband "only called three times" with questions.  Once to ask where his wallet is, once to ask where the sugar is and once to ask her who a boy named Kevin he is supposed to pick up from horse riding is (it turns out Kevin had lived next door to them for six years)

The woman goes to an art museum, an art museum that has parodies and homages of famous works on exhibit.   One of them is the famous statue Kiss, by Rodin.   She begins to emerge herself in the power and the passion of the work.   She thinks back to her old loves before she was married.   You can tell she is maybe a bit, or more, bored with the sheer predictability of her life now.    I do not want to tell to much more of the plot of this wonderful story, I will only say that just as she is deep into an erotically charged state created by looking at the statue and thinking about the lovers of her school days, her last pre-marriage lover walks into the same room in the museum with the statue.  

"Saturday's Gift" is a wise and knowing story that I am very glad I read.  Dempsey's prose is a great pleasure to read.   I would happily read more of her work.  

Here is her official biography

Kate Dempsey writes fiction and poetry and lives in Ireland. She has been collecting jobs for her author biography since she could read. She has worked as a coffee grinder, a terrible waitress in Woolworths, a Harrods shop assistant, a computer programmer, a technical writer, a writer in schools and a mother. She's lived in England, Scotland, The Netherlands, South West USA and now in Ireland.
These diverse jobs and homes are reflected in her witty, observational writing, which is widely published in Ireland and the UK. Her short stories have been broadcast on RTE Radio and published in the Poolbeg Anthology 'Do The Write Thing.' She was shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing award three times and her poetry in many magazines and anthologies. She runs the Poetry Divas Collective, a glittering group of women who blur the wobbly boundaries between page and stage at cool events all over Ireland

Her first novel, The Story of Plan B, was shortlisted for the London Book Fair.  You can purchase it as an E book here

She has also published a collection of poems, Some Poems.

Her blog, Emerging Writer, is a very good source of information about literary happenings in Ireland and a great place to find lots of reading ideas.   It is also about her personal life as an emerging writer.   She is very perceptive and funny and I will be following her blog and writing career from now on.  

"Saturday's Kiss" is covered under international copyright and is the exclusive intellectual property of Kate Dempsey.

Mel u

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