Irish Short Story Week Year Two
Emerging Women Writers
March 23 to March 29
Resources and Ideas for Irish Short Story Week
Resources and Ideas for Irish Short Story Week
I have already posted on a very moving story by Kate Ferguson, "Mouse" which reminded me a lot of an early Katherine Mansfield story and a story that kind of takes Chekhov to another level, "Vronsky's Teeth" by Sheila Miller. (My reasons for focusing on Emerging Irish Women Writers are here.)
I decided to post on Elizabeth Reapy (her official bio will be included) because I liked her "Moving Statues" a great deal,it is very different from the first two stories I read for this segment of Irish Short Stories Week Year Two and to make sure my readers know about the online journal that she cofounded and of which she is now editor, Wordlegs.
"Moving Statues" is about a young woman seemingly in her late teens or early twenties. Reapy's prose is very lean with a bit of a refreshing hard edge to it. You can see the flavor of her excellent prose in the opening few sentences of the story
I’m not sure about miracles. Or God. If there was such things then why did my Dad and my brother Matthew get killed. Four years ago in 1981. Out fishing and a wave turned them over. Both good swimmers. Both drowned. And my Mam, well, she’s been drowning ever since. And we’re all getting drowned this summer. I think there has been about three days that didn’t rain since I got my school holidays from the Convent. The only decent thing this summer has been Live Aid. And Micháel McHugh from McHughs’ Shop in the village.
One day the daughter hears that a statue of Mary has moved on its own power. The daughter hopes this might be the news that will get her mother to break out of her terrible downward cycle. At first the mother is not interested in this just like she is not interested anything else.
I found the passages in which Reapy shows us the mother and daughter talking about whether or not they would go see the statue very powerful and moving so I will quote it a bit.
|"Rory, you are needed over on|
I wll leave the rest of the story untold but Reapy has really put a lot of narrative strength in this story. She gives enough detail to make the people seem very real and the conversations between mother and daughter are perfect. The daughter is not just a saint, she has her frustrations, gets very bored and even has a crush.
When I was walking home, my legs were wobbly. I rushed in to Mammy’s bedroom and told her all the news. I added a small few details of my own about what bishops had said about it and how RTÉ were there along with the Cork newspapers. She just said she was tired.The next day, the moving statue did actually get discussed on RTÉ. I had to get Mam to agree to go. She wouldn’t let me go alone, she hated me being gone from the house. I made her tea and put it, along with the Custard Creams, on a tray and went down to her.“Mammy, we should go to see the statue.”“No, Angela. To be honest I’ve no interest.”“But it’s on in here, above in Ballinspittle. It’s only a fifteen-minute drive. We should just go to see it.”“I don’t care about it,” she said and turned her body away from me.I started crying and shouted at her. “You don’t care about anything. You don’t even care about me. If you did, you’d be looking after me and not the other way round.”She moved her head to face me. “Don’t be like that, Angela. I can’t take much of that
"Carmilla, Vampire Day is soon"-Rory
Wordlegs is an online publication which focuses mostly work by emerging Irish Writers including short stories, reviews, poetry and flash fiction. It comes out four times a year and I will be following it now.
Here is the official biography of Elizabeth Reapy (who writes as EM Reapy)
EM Reapy was born in Ireland in 1984. She has a BA in English literature and history (NUIG) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (UCC). In 2009, she graduated from the MA in Creative Writing programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University, Belfast. That same year she was shortlisted for Over the Edge New Writer of the Year award. Her short fiction and poetry has been featured in various Irish, British and American publications. In 2010, she co-founded and is current editor of wordlegs.com; an online literary journal that showcases young and emerging Irish talent. wordlegs was nominated for an Irish Web Award and pieces from it were translated into Spanish for Cuadrivo magazine. She was selected to read at the Lonely Voice Introduction Series in the Irish Writers Centre in May 2010 and to attend Fiction Masterclasses in Trinity College Dublin in early 2011. In May 2011, she was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Regional Bursary by Mayo Arts Council. Her short film ‘Lunching,’ is being produced by Barley Films animation studio, with another animated short in review. She is redrafting a feature length screenplay and hopes to release a collection of short stories in 2013.
In the next two days I plan to post on stories by Shauna Gilligan and Ethel Rohan. I am seeking suggestions for other writers to cover and am open to posting on more than seven emerging women writers.