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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Baby" by Ethel Rohan (2013, from Goodnight Nobody)

"He was always felt afraid of babies, of a family, worried he would fail as spectacularly as his father had" - from "Baby"

I am more and more leaning toward not reviewing as a whole collections of short stories.  In many maybe most cases, the stories are not written toward being part of a collection.  I have have reading Ethel Rohan for over two years now (you can find my posts on her work with background information by following the link at the bottom of this page.). I do for sure see a set of common concerns in her stories and I have talked about that.  There are thirty or so stories in her latest collection, Goodnight Nobody.  I have already posted on the first story in the collection, "Baby" is the third story.  My main purpose in these posts is to help myself understand and recall her stories.  I am quite confident that if someone does an Irish Short Story Month in 2034, Rohan will be a must include writer.I am also kind of seeing if her stories fit some of my ideas about the distinctive qualities of Irish Short Stories.

"Baby" opens in the house of a bachelor, shortly after a party.   Somebody has given him a strange slightly creepy gift, an "instant baby".  All you have to do is put it in water for a while.  All the guests are gone.  He is not sure who among the guests left it but he figured it was his ex who came with her new boyfriend, much younger than him, of course.  He puts the baby in water and the next day it is huge.  He calls his buddy over to look at it.  He says it must be some sort of comment from his ex on his inability to commit.  There is no real plot, they ended up more or less forgetting about the baby while they down some beers.  

I will post on at least fifteen stories from Goodnight Nobody.  



Suko said...

Baby sounds intriguing. I've read some of this author's work, thanks to you, Mel. She is quite a talented writer.

Unknown said...

I remember this story very clearly, which is always a sign of a good story. The 'instant baby' feels very surreal, though it is plausible you could get them somewhere.