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
Lucy Montague Moffatt
"He glared at me as though I was wrong for not expecting a man fully dressed in black to be sitting in the middle of a dark pathway".
There are thirty stories in 30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. So far I have posted on 12 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.
"I Found A Poet On the Road" is a very interesting and entertaining story told in the first person of a young Irish woman, living in a rural area with her parents. It is a story about the consequences of lying too much, about the sometimes tedium of small town life, about Ireland's relationship to its vast army of poets, and about mythic encounters that might one day become one of the stories you build your conception of your life from. I will just tell a little of the plot of the story but leave it largely for you to enjoy it for the first time on your own.
The woman is out for a bike ride one dark and she almost hits a man sitting in the middle of the road. She ends up nearly having a wreck to avoid him. She and the man, a poet it seems, get in a fascinating and at times enjoyably absurd conversation about why he is sitting in the dark in the middle of the road. Maybe it is the man's statement about the condition of contemporary Irish poetry or maybe he is just a bit crazy!
Moffett has packed a lot into this very well crafted story. I would happily read more of her work. I would also like to see one of her shows.
Author Data (from 30 Under 30)
The author is 23 and from Dublin. She wrote and preformed two comedy shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011. She was one of the winners of the Fishamble, Tiny Plays Completion.
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.
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