Territories of the Voice: Contemporary Stories by Irish Women Writers

Louise A. DeSalvo, Other Beacon Press (MA) $0 (270p) ISBN 978-0-8070-8320-8
In the introduction to this valuable volume of 27 stories, the editors offer a brief, instructive survey of the publishing scene in Ireland, noting that there has been an ``explosion of contemporary Irish women's writing.'' The stories they have selected, most of them written after 1960, are of nearly uniform excellence. While such familiar authors as Edna O'Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Julia O'Faolain, Maeve Binchy and Jennifer Johnson are represented, fresh, new voices speak in distinctive tones. The range of subject matter is broad, encompassing such vexing topics as sexual oppression, war and the daily realities of life in a country where, as Evelyn Conlon puts it in ``Park-going Days,'' ``No woman . . . had any doubt but that God was a man.'' In Ann McKay's ``Checkpoint'' we read of a lover who is ``a gangster of hearts''; the boarding school student in ``All Fall Down'' by Helen Lucy Burke fears her drunkard father will visit and disgrace her by ``lurching over the parquet floor.'' Almost without exception, the stories are richly atmospheric, written in spare, supple prose and animated by dialogue that rings true. Readers should welcome this trove of fine writing. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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