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, March 20, 2013

"Walkmans, Watches and Chains" by Cherry Smyth

Walkmans, Watches and Chains" by Cherry Smyth (2006, 11 pages)

Irish Short Story Month
Year III
March 1 to March 31
Cherry Smyth

County Antrim

Please consider joining us for the event.  All you need to do is complete a post on any Irish Short Story, maybe on a story that means a lot to you or a writer you admire, or any related matter and let me know about it.  I will publicize your post and keep a master list. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Last year during Irish Short Story month I posted on a very good short story by Cherry Smyth, "Near the Bone".  I am glad to be able to include another one of her short stories in this year's event.

"Walkmans, Watches and Chains" is a story that will probably take you out of your comfort zone.   It is told in the first person by a young, maybe early teens at oldest school girl.   It begins with a man, someone she knows and trusts, helping her and combing her hair and it ends with a painfully vivid account of what it felt like to the girl to be orally raped by the man.  It was painful to see how easily the man accomplished this with small gifts and tricks to gain her confidence.  We know something wrong is happening as the story begins, the girl senses things are not quite right but she likes the attention from a grown man who seems to understand her.  The ending is very shocking and terribly sad as we sense the man will get away with what he has done to the girl.

I will not say I enjoyed reading this story as I think that would be the wrong way to express my reaction.  It is a very powerful work which has the total ring of truth to it.   I hope to read more of Cherry Smyth's work.

Official Author Bio

Cherry Smyth is an Irish poet, born in Ballymoney, County Antrim and raised
in Portstewart. She has written two collections of poetry, a poetry pamphlet as
well as a book, essays and reviews on contemporary visual arts. She has also
published short fiction.  Her debut poetry collection, 'When the Lights Go Up'
was published by Lagan Press, 2001. Her anthology of women prisoners'
writing, 'A Strong Voice in a Small Space', Cherry Picking Press, 2002, won
the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Award in 2003.  A poetry
pamphlet, 'The Future of Something Delicate' was published by
Smith/Doorstop, 2005. A second collection called 'One Wanted Thing' (Lagan
Press) appeared in 2006.

Her poems have been published in 'Breaking the Skin', an anthology of Irish
poets, Black Mountain Press, 2002, the Apples and Snakes Anthology,
'Velocity', 2003, 'Magnetic North', The Verbal Arts Centre, 2006.  New poems
have been published in various magazines including 'The North', 'The Shop',
'Staple', 'Magma' and 'Poetry Ireland Review'. She was a prize­ winner in the Tonbridge Poetry Competition,
2006 and the London Writers' Competition, 2007.
Her short fiction has been published in many journals and anthologies including Blithe House Quarterly,
"Welcome to the ISSM3"-
Summer, 2006, Scealta, Short Stories by Irish Women, Telegram Books, 2006, Chroma, Queer Literary
Journal, 2004, 2006, Tears in the Fence, Vol. 35, 2003, The Anchor Book of New Irish Writing, 2000, and
'Hers: brilliant new fiction', Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999.

Cherry Smyth is the poetry editor of Brand literary magazine

She has been teaching writing poetry in the Creative Writing Department of the University of Greenwich since 2004.

You can learn more about Cherry Smyth on her very well done web page.   There are also links to her poetry and short stories.   I admire writers with enough confidence and generosity to allow a sample of their work to be read for free.

Mel u

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