Forgiveness: Ireland's Best Contemporary Short Stories

Augustine Martin, Editor Four Walls Eight Windows $25.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-941423-32-8
Twenty-five tales of uneven quality by such writers as William Trevor and Benedict Kiely, as well as by those less well known, explore the effects of the boggling array of troubles that has formed contemporary Ireland. So perhaps the despair that grips many of the characters in these stories--especially those by younger writers--should come as no surprise. The fictional stet/pk Irishmen and -women in this volume frequently wish for the comfort of religion but cannot find it--rare is the character who can still pray. Poverty is a great source of brutality here, but money permits only the hollow victory of being ``miserable in much more comfort,'' as a character in Val Mulkerns's ``Memory and Desire'' remarks about a successful entrepreneur who will choose suicide. In the face of so many punishing obstacles and lingering resentments, it is a great personal struggle to forgive--in Edna O'Brien's title story, a mother shaped by a life of harsh necessities learns forgiveness while on holiday with her son and daughter-in-law. Martin is professor of Anglo-Irish literature and drama at University College Dublin. (July)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-941423-33-5
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