Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Glass Shore

Last year, Bill bought the book, The Long Gaze Back for me. It is a collection of short stories written by Irish women, spanning more than a century. It is an excellent book and was widely praised.

As a result of the publication of that book, the editor, Sinéad Gleeson, was approached about doing a sequel of sorts, that would be a collection of stories written by women from the north. The result is this book. It contains 25 stories written by women from the geographic north of Ireland--not limited to Northern Ireland. The Ulster region is represented across borders.

I loved this book. The stories are wide ranging in style and substance. Many are concerned with women's experiences of both leaving home and staying home, crossing borders, navigating difficult cultural norms, resistance, and finding ways to live a fulfilling life in spite of outer circumstances beyond individual control.

When I began the book, I was immediately drawn into the first story, a Gothic tale by Rosa Mulholland, an author I'd not heard of before. She was born in 1855 and was encouraged to write and publish by Charles Dickens. I searched for her on Project Gutenberg and found one of her books, so I downloaded it. As I recall, that one is a novel, but I would love to find more of her short story collections and will keep my eyes open for them.

As always, I liked some stories better than others, but there were none I really disliked. I also enjoyed the brief biographies of each author that precede their stories.

This is a book well worth reading.

You can find a review of the book here.

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