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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Villa Marta" by Clare Boylan (from Concerning Virgins, 1996)

Clare Boylan was an Irish author, journalist, and critic for print and broadcast media.  She wrote a number of novels including Holy Pictures, Home Rule, and Room for a Single Lady. She is probably best know for her 2003 novel, Emma, a completion of an unfinished novel by Charlotte Bronte. She also published three collections of her short stories.  She died at age 58 of ovarian cancer.  

Last year during ISSM3 I posted on a very good short story by Clare Boylan, "The Little Madonnas".  I was happy to see Anne Enright had included another of her stories, "Villa Marta" in her anthology The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story. 

The story centers on two teenage girls living in a port city in Italy.   They dream of one day finding a man that will take them to America.  They imagine themselves in a lovely house.  American Navy ships often dock there.  The girls meet a couple of predatory sailors.   The girls are not pure innocents and they plot with each other about getting a nice meal from the sailors before going back to their hotel.  Things don't go well for the girls.   

I enjoyed reading this story.  I hope it is not another year until I read another of her stories.

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