A Belfast Woman: Stories

Mary Beckett, Author William Morrow & Company $12.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-688-08221-5
There's a touch of Katherine Mansfield in these stories by Beckett ( Give Them Stones ) about the lives of Irish women young and old. At her best (``The Pursuit of Happiness''), the author subtly sketches emerging character, paving the way with unobtrusively symbolic details. If no false notes intrude, an awakening of luminous grace ensues; typically, a heroine will come to terms with ``that feeling of empty misery . . . a feeling of being useless and unwanted and of dwindling instead of growing.'' Beckett's women are wronged by unlucky loves, feckless husbands, too many children, poverty and political turmoilbut perhaps suffer most from their appetite for suffering. The women labor, too, in an isolation enforced by the cruelties of community. Beckett is an uncommonly natural writer, telling stories with a radiantly pure lyricism, though not all of the 11 tales here meet that standard. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-905169-85-9
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