FREE READ ´ Being Various


T edits the sixth volume of Faber's long running series of all new Irish short stories continuing the work of the late David Marcus and subseuent guest editors Joseph O'Connor Kevin Barry and Deirdre Madd. My only complaint is that I wish Lucy Caldwell would have contributed but she does a fine job of putting together a great collection of stories from Irish writers and introducing some to me Yan Ge Danielle McLaughlin Elske Rahill Stuart Neville Belinda McKeon Jill Crawford and Arja Kajermo My favourite was by far Colour and Light GAH WHAT WAS WRITTEN ON THAT NOTE and Pillars Although I enjoyed Feather Who's DeadThe Lexicon of Babies How I fell in love A Partial list Legends Stretch Marks Echo Privacy and Lambeth The order of the short stories is good although I went through it reading the authors I knew first and the ones I didn't second I also adore the name and that these were all new commissioned stories

READ & DOWNLOAD Being Various

Being VariousFeaturing brand new short stories from Kevin Barry Eimear McBride Belinda McKeon Lisa McInerney Danielle McLaughlin Stuart Neville Sally Rooney Kit de Waal and many Ireland is going through a golden age o. I was thoroughly impressed by Lucy Caldwell's short story collection  Multitudes which I recently reviewed  I was therefore even keen than I had previously been to see which stories she had selected for an edited collection entitled  Being Various New Irish Short Stories  When skimming through the contents page of Being Various in my local library I found a lot of authors whom I had never heard of; this is something which I love in thematic anthologies such as this one  Amongst the new to me names were uite a lot of authors whom I already know and admire Danielle McLaughlin Louise O'Neill Belinda McKeon Eimear McBride Sally Rooney and Sinead Gleeson are particular favouritesIn  Being Various Caldwell was keen to bring together contributors from Northern Ireland and the Republic all of whom have been published since the Good Friday Agreement  The stories here have been specially commissioned for this anthology and therefore cannot be found anywhere else  In her introduction Caldwell comments 'Ireland is going through a golden age of writing that has never been apparent  I wanted to capture something of the energy of this explosion in all its variousness  Writers who are truly the inheritors of Bowen and O'Faolain telling twenty first century stories with effortless elegance and grace'  Caldwell goes on to reflect 'I thought about how far Ireland has come in my lifetime and how far it has to go' She wanted to highlight this and welcomed tales of 'subjects that have long been unspoken or dismissed or taboo with a ferocity and unsentimentality that's breathtaking'  Indeed the stories deal with a lot of pivotal and topical themes puberty separation change eating disorders death; what it means to belong and to grow up and to feelThere is some really beautiful writing to be found within  Being Various  In 'A Partial List of the Saved' for instance author Danielle McLaughlin writes 'The last time they'd travelled this road it had been summertime not a dull day like this one but a glorious day with the sun beating down and bodies eerily pale prostrate on lawns like pieces of salt cod left to dry  Today the fields were shrouded in drizzle  The light was otherworldly silver on the distant surface of the bog lakes'I find Irish fiction entirely engaging and this short story collection reminded me why  There are so many moments of clear eyed brilliance here; so many fully formed characters; so much emphasis upon what makes up real life  There are characters who move to Ireland and away and some who return to it  The focus of Louise O'Neill's 'Legends' is a young girl with an eating disorder her 'waistbands skimming empty spaces where flesh used to reside the number on the weighing scales decreasing every day'; Elske Rahill's 'Stretch Marks' has at its heart a woman set adrift by her latest pregnancy 'The baby shifts under her skin hooking a piece of itself into her rib a hand or a foot  It must be mid afternoon at least  Thursday afternoon  Beside the bed two slices of toast have cooled and warped' Being Various presents a bold collection of stories the majority of them realist but with a little magical realism creeping in from time to time  Every single story captured my attention and I found a lot to enjoy here and a lot to admire  Even those which I did not like as much were very good stylistically  The stories are so diverse that they can be read one after another and still be entirely memorable  There is striking imagery and a lot of hard hitting content and I cannot recommend  Being Various enough

Lucy Caldwell ✓ 1 FREE READ

FREE READ ´ Being Various ☆ ➿ Being Various Free ➶ Author Lucy Caldwell – Featuring brand new short stories from Kevin Barry Eimear McBride Belinda McKeon Lisa McInerney Danielle McLaughlin Stuart Neville Sally Rooney Kit de Waal and many Ireland is going through a golden a Featuring brand new short stories F writing that has never been apparent I wanted to capture something of the energy of this explosion in all its variousness Following her own acclaimed short story collection Multitudes Lucy Caldwell gues. Being Various is the sixth volume of Faber’s long running series of new Irish short stories In her introduction to the anthology guest editor Lucy Caldwell ponders what makes a writer Irish Must they be born on the island Live there Have parents who raise them to identify with their Irish heritage She writes“I wanted to look too at where the new ways of Irish writing might take us The fresh narratives perspectives and multiplicities that are coming from immigration to a place so long and persistently defined by emigration”Each fiercely intelligent tale from the impressive who’s who of contributors offers a window into the differing impacts Ireland has on those steeped in its culture and prejudices All the stories were commissioned especially from writers whose work was first published after the Good Friday Agreement It is a showcase of contemporary Irish literatureThere are tales that draw the reader in then leave them with ambiguous endings ‘Stretch Marks’ by Elske Rahill tells of a difficult pregnancy that causes the suffering mother of four to feel she is a failure ‘BrownLady12345’ by Melatu Uche Okorie looks at modern dating from the perspective of an immigrant who is lonely but unsure what they are looking for or how to achieve the desired connection ‘The Swimmers’ by Paul McVeigh contains a disturbing undercurrent as a son tries to please his father The reader is left to interpret each thread of suggestion for themselvesClarity is captured through Magic Realism ‘Pillars’ by Jan Carson explores mental health following marital breakdown when acuaintances are uncomfortable acknowledging such issues even when they are made glaringly obvious ‘The Lexicon of Babies’ by Sinéad Gleeson offers a picture of segregated privilege through state accepted competitive parenting – this odd little tale is beautifully fable like ‘Echo’ by Stuart Neville is poignant yet fierce – the story of a family unravelled by grief and the subseuent conspiracy of silence violently enforced by a mother whose culpability remains veiled ‘The Eclipse’ by Darren Anderson employs powerful imagery to portray the last days of an elderly woman whose mind has inexorably deteriorated The love and care provided by her relatives is rare amidst so many depictions in this collection of the damage caused by family ‘The Adminicle Exists’ by Eimear McBride is an emotive cry for help from a woman whose partner needs care yet poses a threat to her safety ‘Wings’ by David Hayden is a painfully sad tale of the conspiracies and denials surrounding childhood abuse ‘Lambeth’ by Jill Crawford offers an excellent depiction of the complexity inherent in an area’s gentrification There are levels of wealth and poverty threat and safety Change may be resisted but is and always has been inevitable ‘Alienation’ by Arja Kajermo is an unusually honest portrayal of Ireland from the point of view of a foreigner Visitors may be welcomed but those who choose to stay face prejudice passive aggression rejection for looking or acting different ‘Colour and Light’ by Sally Rooney is fabulous story telling Set in a seaside town it tells of two brothers close in some ways yet rarely sharing anything of themselves and a woman who briefly passes through their livesThere are tales within this anthology that particularly resonated and others enjoyed but with less impact Only one struck me off key – ‘The Downtown ueen’ by Peter Murphy Its subject was memories – of a time when the narrator was part of an in crowd enjoying sex drugs rock and roll He interacted with famous musicians and their coteries in the early raw days preceding meteoric careers The tale felt to me to be trying too hard to be knowledgeable and artful – something that may appeal to those with an interest in the 70s music scene My negative reaction may be a dislike of the protagonist as much as the writing I am rarely impressed by those who name drop for anticipated audience effectFor a collection of twenty four stories to enjoy all but one is pleasing The uality of the writing is high the subject matter piercing There is humour amidst the darkness and a clear reflection of the Irish spirit in all its shades This is as good a collection of short stories as I have read this year