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

Friday, July 6, 2012

"Miles" by Desmond Hogan

The Irish Quarter Year Two
 A Celebration of the Irish Short Story
March 11 to ?

Desmond Hogan Week-June 18 to July 10  Day Ten


Cohosted by Shauna Gilligan, author of
Happiness Comes From Nowhere

"exiles often hid the most amazing secrets, how they hid horror, terror and great magnitudes of sin"


"Miles" (1989) is one of the longest stories in Lark's Eggs and Other Stories.   It about Miles, a very successful model whose face can be seen in ads all over Dublin, the mother who deserted him when he  was just a child to go work in London as a maid and his siblings. It is also about the miles between people and the times of our lives.   (I am keeping my next few posts quite brief as I am getting behind in my posting on what I have read.)   Miles has turned seventeen and he has decided to go looking for his mother.   Miles lives the fast life of nightclubs, outrageous clothes.."Dublin for Miles was a kind of Pompeii now:  on an edge...he was living a good life in a city smoldering with poverty".   His mother, Ellie has another son, Lally, and a daughter.  The daughter was a teacher and the son a famous pop star.   He knew every year his mother comes to the pilgrimage to Walshingham (this made me wonder if they had Traveller roots).   We see the traumas of Miles raising, growing up as a beautiful young boy brought much abuse and hatred on him. 

We also enter into the mind of his mother, now dying of cancer.   We enter into the mind of Lally also, very famous and often on TV.   His mother never understood what made him an artist.   His songs are about Ireland.   "One day scum, the next day stars".   

There is a tremendous amount in this wonderful story.   It is a great work of art with a deep sadness at  its heart.

Lilliput Press press publishes Hogan's work and offers two of his works as E-Books.   I found their catalogue totally fascinating.   They are the premier publishers of Irish related books, located in Dublin and established in 1984.

Shauna Gilligan's wonderful  novel Happiness Comes From Nowhere can be purchased on Amazon or The Book Depository.

Mel u

1 comment:

shaunag said...

Mel, you've captured this story: indeed it is a great work of art with sadness both at its heart and at its creation.