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

Monday, April 15, 2024

Nothing Surer" - A Short Story by Gráinne Murphy - 10 Pages - included with Cork Stories - Edited by Madeleine D’Arcy & Laura McKenna - 2024 - An Irish Short Story Month Work


 "Nothing Surer" - A Short Story by Gráinne Murphy - 10 Pages - included with Cork Stories - Edited by Madeleine D’Arcy & Laura McKenna - 2024 - An Irish Short Story Month Wor

Irish Short Story Month XIII- 2024

April to June 1

"Nothing Surer"   by Gráinnec Murphy, a resident of West Cork, is the 4th of the 18 short stories in Cork Stories I intend to read and post upon during Irish Short Story Month XIII.

"Nothing Surer" resonated for me in an almost painfully personal manner.

The story centers on the daily life of a widower. He lost his wife, 
his life was built around a few years ago, and now he tries to go on alone.

 "The world gone to holy hell and himself weakening by the new time. Still, if time was a curse, routine was the cure. Today just a day like any other. The ball of the hammer was solid against his heel when he sat on the edge of the bed. Shoes on, face the world. Ellen would phone in the afternoon, she’d said." 

He seems about 70, people treat him in a kindly but patronising fashion.

It is Halloween. When Aine was alive and Ellen their child young, he always carved a pumpkin.  Today he will visit her grave.

"The hill up to the graveyard was slow going but pleasant enough, with the seagulls perched on the rigging of the boats and shouting out everything they could see. Áine loved that sound, she told him, when they were walking home from a dance early in their courting. ‘The lonesomeness of it makes me feel dramatic,’ she said, linking his arm. The vodka and orange was showing on her. ‘Bury me where I can hear seagulls.’ ‘I will,’ he said, where another man might have thought her forward to be imagining her future with him in it.  The graveyard gate opened silently. He closed it. Opened it again."

My wife passed away long before she should have two years ago.

These lines are perfectly expressive of my feelings, my cherished hope to be reunited with my wife:

"He took out the brush and gathered the biscuit crumbs into a tidy heap in the corner, where the dustpan made short work of them. A man on his own had to keep the place right. He didn’t want Áine arriving back to collect his soul for heaven, only to be distracted by inches of dust on the mantelpiece. She would insist on cleaning everything, wasting precious minutes in the hereafter. Were the minutes still precious if they were infinite? He could be finding out."

"Gráinne grew up in Kilmichael, in rural county Cork. At university, she studied Applied Psychology, then forensic research, where she worked as a research assistant. Switching to human resources, Gráinne worked in training and development for several years before moving to Belgium with her family. While in Brussels, Gráinne began to work as a self-employed proofreader, primarily working with research consultancies in the areas of human rights and environmental issues. She returned to Ireland in 2016 and now lives near the West Cork coast with her family, where she continues to work as a copy editor.

Since 2012, Gráinne has been writing both long and short fiction. Her work often reflects her interest in family and identity, in those bittersweet moments where we have to stare life down and choose who we want to be.  

A winner of the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2019, Gráinne’s novels have been shortlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award 2019 and Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award 2019 and longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2018 and Mslexia Novel Award 2017. Her short stories have appeared in the Fish Anthology 2020, RiPPLE Anthology 2017 and Nivalis 2015. 

Gráinne’s short story Further West, was longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in May 2021.

Gráinne’s debut novel Where the Edge Is was published by Legend Press in September 2020. The Ghostlights was published in 2021, followed by Winter People in 2022. Greener will be published in Spring 2024. All are published by Legend Press."


Whether you are just getting started in Irish Short Stories or have been an 

avid reader for fifty years, Cook Stories, published by Doire Press, will delight you with 18 Stories.

The best way to purchase this marvelous collection is via the Publisher Doire Press

Mel Ulm
The Reading Life


Buried In Print said...

What a tough, but maybe also consoling, read for you, Mel.

Mel u said...

Buried in Print- yes this was hard to read