“Downing Out in New York”- from In Fields of Butterfly Flames and other stories by Steve Wade -202O
This is the eighth short story by Steve Wade that has been featured on The Reading Life. I have great admiration for his work and insight, otherwise I would not feature him so avidly. I first read his work during Irish Short Story Month Year Three in March of 2013. I found his short story “The Land of the Ever Young” fully qualified to stand with the great occult fairy tales of Sheridan Le Fanu or Andrew Lang.
“The Land of the Ever Young" recreates and helps us understand the stories of fairies stealing human children and substituting changelings for them. Part of the root of these stories comes from the famine years where people had to find ways to deal with the starvation of their children. On another darker side, this story also treats of the fact that one more hungry child could be the tipping point in a family on the edge of starvation that can send everyone else into the grave.
First and foremost 'The Land of the Ever Young" is a tremendous lot of fun to read. Joseph Sheridan le Fanu or Andrew Lang
have no better stories than this.
Downing Out in New York is the third story from Steve Wade’s debut collection In Fields of Butterfly Flames and other Stories upon which I have posted. The story centers on an Irishman who was drawn to New York City by his girlfriend. It is a cautionary tale of how quickly a grip on reality can be lost.
As the man sees it his ex-girl friend lured him to leave Ireland to meet her parents in New York City, She then has one of her girlfriends lure him into a sexual encounter in a hotel room. The girl friend goes nuts, attacking him and The other woman. She knows his visa has expired and threstens to have him deported as an illegal alien. He loses his temper and strikes her, Now she says she will get him arrested for assult. He flees the hotel with no money, no wallet and Without his vioilin. He was a busker back in Ireland. From here we follow his days on the streets of New York.
In just a few Wade presents a very vivid credible account of the start of madness.
There are 21 stories in the collection. In March I will be focusing once again on Irish Short Stories and will teturn to this marvelous collection then.
About the Author - Steve Wade’s award-winning short fiction has been widely published in literary magazines and anthologies. His work has been broadcast on national and regional radio. He has had stories short-listed for the Francis McManus Short Story Competitionand for the Hennessy Award. His stories have appeared in over fifty print publications, including Crannog, New Fables, and Aesthetica Creative Works Annual. His unpublished novel, On Hikers’ Hill was awarded First Prize in the abook2read.com competition, with Sir Tim Rice as the top judge. He has won First Prize in the Delvin Garradrimna Short Story Competition on a number of occasions. Winner of the Short Story category in the Write by the Sea writing competition 2019. His
short stories have been nominated for the PEN/O’Henry Award, and for the Pushcart Prize.
From the Author’s introduction
“The stories in this collection first appeared in anthologies and periodicals. Some of them have won prizes or have been placed in writing competitions. Ostracised by betrayal, isolated through indifference, gutted with guilt, or suffering from loss, the characters in these twenty-two stories are fractured and broken, some irreparably. In their struggle for acceptance, and their desperate search for meaning, they deny the past”
A very worthy edition to the reading list of all lovers of the short story.