The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BOOKS -


The nar­ra­tive voices are many and var­ied in this wide-rang­ing, ex­cel­lent col­lec­tion from the gifted Irish writer, Richard Power, who died so young. Read­ers of his won­der­ful novel,

The Hun­gry Grass, will be fa­mil­iar with his skill of con­vey­ing char­ac­ter in a few well-cho­sen phrases, also strongly in ev­i­dence in these sto­ries. As he died nearly 50 years ago, it’s no sur­prise that some sto­ries re­late to an Ire­land now al­most gone for­ever, when ru­ral chil­dren still brought sods of turf to school (The Rebels),

farm­ers sold their cat­tle in small-town fair greens (Peas­ants) and Trav­ellers camped on road­sides (Neigh­bours and Pil­grim). Oth­ers, how­ever, are mod­ern, such as The Pill, where a know­ing teenager runs rings round her par­ents; many are time­less, such as The Let­ter,

where the male nar­ra­tor is deeply dis­ap­pointed an over­ture he makes to a young wo­man doesn’t evoke the hoped-for re­sponse, and

Deór na hAithrí (here in both the orig­i­nal Irish and in trans­la­tion), a des­per­ately sad story of a de­serted wife and mother. Con­grat­u­la­tions to James MacKillop for keep­ing Power’s work be­fore us.


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