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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Truth and Silence" by Alison Wells

March 1 to April 14

Alison Wells

You are invited to participate in ISSM3.  If you are interested or have any questions or concerns, please e mail me

There are lots of ways to participate.  One simple way is to leave a comment in some of the posts.  Another for Irish writers of any genre is to do a Q and A session.  I am also willing to publish your short story.  For my fellow book bloggers, just do a post on your blog and let me know about it.

"We  never fought. Never fell out, not outright, not out in the open. Things just went cool, frosty. Of course now there are times when I wonder whether the way we were together was like a frozen lake, beautiful on the outside - but underneath there’s all this shit, weeds and algae and shopping trolleys and half dead fish with the entrails trailing, murk basically."

"Truth and Silence", a fine short story by Alison Wells, centers on the very problematic relationship between a man and a woman, lovers.  You can read the story online (I will provide a link at the close of the post) so I will just talk briefly about the plot and remark on how it fits in with some of the leitmotifs of Irish Short Story Month Year III.  

The story is told in the first person by the man.  We learn how the couple's relationship came about through chance events, we are there when they make love and we are there for some vicious bone jangling fights.   I could almost feel the anger of the woman.  One often sees in the Irish short story people who have difficulty expressing their love for each other but have no problems expressing the other side of this coin, the resentments, the feeling of oppressive closeness that turns a trifle into a death match. Beneath the icy reserve (it is no accident ice plays a big role in "Truth and Silence" as you should find out for yourself by reading it-it is a very good story) there is a murderous set of emotions that people have no models to teach them how to express.

We meet the girl's family.  She is estranged from her mother, we are not sure why but it is interesting to speculate, and her father is "long gone".  Once again we see an Irish short story that illustrates the theme of the weak or missing Irish father.  Her sister says the woman is paranoid.

There is a dark event at the heart of this story and I will leave it untold.   I do think the ending was brilliant and it somehow a perfect metaphor for the themes about the Irish character I spoke of earlier.   

You can read this powerful story here

Author Bio

Alison Wells was born in London and now lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland with her husband and four children. Her short fiction has been featured in Crannóg, The Sunday Tribune, the Higgs Boson Anthology and is forthcoming in an anthology by Bridgehouse. She was shortlisted for the Hennessy XO New Irish Writing Awards in 2009 and for the Bridport and Fish Prizes in 2010. She has completed Random Acts of Optimism , a short story collection and is working on a flash fiction collection and a literary novel. She blogs at and

Alison Wells has kindly agreed to do a Q and A Session for ISSM3 so please look for that soon.

Mel u

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