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, May 29, 2013

"Paper and Ashes" by William Wall (from Town and Country: New IrishShort Stories, edited by Kevin Barry, 2013)

Yesterday when I got my copy of Kevin Barry's anthology Town and Country:  New Irish Short Stories I was very happy to see that William Wall had a story included.  Among the twenty writers included in the collection are writers ranging from Desmond Hogan and Patrick McCabe to authors just starting their career.  Of the authors, 13 are by writers whose work I have not yet read.  I was glad to see that I have done Q and A sessions with three of the writers.   It is my plan to read and post on each of the stories.

"Paper and Ashes" is told in the first person by a thirty five year old woman, recently widowed.  She is carrying her husband's ashes in an urn and has just left the public records office with five copies of his death certificate in her purse.  The marriage was not a good one and he left her penniless.  She is wondering if she should leave the urn in the grocery store or dump them in the river when she is hit from behind by a man who steals her purse.  A tramp witnesses what happens.  She loses her mobile phone and her credit cards as well as the death certificates.  The woman then begins a conversation with the tramp, who turns out to be quite interesting.  I will leave the rest of the plot untold other than to say I really enjoyed the ending.

I expected based on my prior reading of the work of Wall that I would love this story and I did.

My Q and A with William Wall

My post on No Paradiso - A superb collection of short stories by Wall

You can read an excellent short story by Wall here

Author Bio.

Born in Cork 1955 | Grew up in the coastal village of Whitegate | Educated at University College Cork | Degree in Philosophy & English | Married | Two sons

William Wall has won the Virginia Faulkner Award, The Sean O’Faoláin Prize, several Writer’s Week prizes and The Patrick Kavanagh Award.

He was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He was shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award, the Irish Book Awards, the Raymond Carver Award, the Hennessy Award and numerous others. He has received Irish Arts Council Bursaries, travel grants from Culture Ireland and translations of his books have been funded by Ireland Literature Exchange.

He is not a member of Aosdána – if you’re wondering why, please read Riding Against The Lizard.pdf. His work has been translated into many languages, including Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Latvian, Serbian and Catalan. He has a particular interest in Italy and has read at several festivals there including the Tratti Festival at Faenza, the Festival Internazionale di Poesia di Genova and at the Pordenone Legge festival near Venice. He has translated from Italian. William Wall was an Irish delegate to the European Writers’ Parliament in Istanbul 2010. In March 2010 he was Writer in Residence at The Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco. He was a 2009 Fellow of The Liguria Centre for the Arts & Humanities .

1 comment:

SuperRabbit said...

Hi! In a review you usually say what was good about the story and what was bad about it. You say if you found any interesting double meanings or if it spoke to you on a personal level. You don't usually give a summary of the plot.

I'd love to hear why you enjoyed the story! Thanks :)