30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy with a foreword by John Walsh
The Irish Quarter
"They both liked the poetry of Neruda and Keats. They liked Korean food, completing the crossword and drinking two or three pints, returning home before everyone else got drunk".
There are thirty stories in 30 Under Thirty: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. So far I have posted on ten of them. (I totally endorse purchase of this very fairly priced collection and will provide a publisher's link at the end of this post.) There is also a very interesting introduction by the editor Elizabeth Reapy (I have posted on her very well done short story, "Statues") and a foreword by John Walsh.. Agreeing with John Walsh, I think this book could well be a collector's item one day.
Posting on collections of short stories that include the works of many different authors presents a big challenge, to me at least. I do not personally care for reviews or posts on short story collections that simply have one or two lines on a few of the stories and then gush over the collection as a whole with standard book review quotes. These could in fact easily be written without reading much of the collection and to me it is like going on about a forest without realizing it is made up of trees. Because of the high quality of the stories and the collections ability to acquaint me with contemporary Irish short stories, I now plan to post individually on all of the stories in the collection.
Upon completion of this project, I will list my top five stories.
"12 Fitzgerald Street" by Shane Ward is a very interesting story about looking way back in your life. It took me a bit to catch onto the story, I will acknowledge. We start out in college with four friends and we watch one of them cook breakfast. I had to Google "rashers" to know it was bacon. On a side note, there is good and bad about using indigenous slang in stories. It makes them "more real" and it sets them in a time and place but it also can sometimes become too much the focus of the story. I still am after a second reading pondering the plot action of this story. Are we looking back on the thoughts of a very old person or are we seeing the future through demented eyes? Birdy and Conor, two of the college students morph suddenly into a very old married couple.
This was an intriguing story. It is was interesting to see how a young writer, all authors in the collection are under 30, views the elderly.
Drinking plays a big part in this story as it does in four of the others.
Author Data (from 30 Under 30)
Shane Ward is from Ballybay County in Monaghan. He works in theater and has published in several journals.
You can find more information on 30 Under Thirty: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers at the web page of Doire Press.