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 8, 2013

"The Flowering" and "The Wife of Bath" by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne

My prior posts on Eilis Ni Dhuibhne

I was very lucky to find used copies of two short story collections by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, one of the consensus contemporary master of the Irish short story.  Many of her stories have echoes of folk and fairy tales and medieval literature.   For a while I will have less
blogging time than normal so I will be keeping my posts brief.  Today's post is really just a reading journal entry.  Both of today's stories can be found in Midwife to the Fairies, her 2003 collection.

"The Flowering" is wonderful multi-layered story.   It begins with a woman wishing she could understand her roots, her deep in the past ancestry.  She wants to understand how people from her long buried past lived their lives, what they felt and dreamed.   She learns what her ancestors endured during the Irish famine years of the middle 19th century, reduced to surviving on seaweed and barnacles.  In a wonderful segment of the story that I really liked we learn about  young girl who becomes a lace maker and a dress maker, this is her passion and flowering.  This story I really liked.

Ni Dhuibhne is a Chaucer scholar. "The Wife of Bath"  is a story about a modern Irish woman who is retelling he life story as if she is the wife of bath, relaying her many relationships.   The story well adapts older models of narration in which the lives of ordinary people were treated as comic farces.   

Do you have a favorite short story by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne?

Mel u

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