I was genuinely delighted to win Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards for my story This Small Giddy Life about two daughters and their wandering, wonderful mother who gets dementia. My own mother is living with this curious condition, so it is a close-to-my-heart story. You can read the story in the New Island anthology, A Little Unsteadily Into Light, available here.
Thanks so much to An Post (awards sponsors) and writing.ie (short story award sponsors), especially Vanessa O’Loughlin. Thanks to New Island books and editor Jan Carson, for commissioning the story. We had a lovely night of celebration last night at the Convention Centre in Dublin. See my insta for (not many more) pics here.
Shortlisted! My dementia story *This Small Giddy Life* from the New Island Books anthology A Little Unsteadily Into Light is up for the writing.ie Story of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2022. We had a lovely shortlisters’ event at the GPO last night. This story is meaningful to me as I took elements of my mother’s dementia to fictionalise. She’s still with us, and doing well, TG.
Voting is open now, see all shortlistees below: Vote here.
Thanks to editors Jan Carson & Jane Lugea and all at New Island & Vanessa of Writing.ie. This is my fifth Book Awards shortlisting, maybe this year I’ll take something home other than memories of a great, chat-filled, glammy night. The big event is the 23rd November and I can’t wait!
I’m interviewing Roddy Doyle, online at Politics and Prose in Washington, about short fiction. This event celebrates the USA publication day for Roddy’s book Life Without Children, which is a warm, funny, poignant collection of ten stories. Join us! 5pm USA, 10pm Ireland. More here.
Máighréad Medbh and I will be doing an online flash fiction and poetry reading on Friday December 11th at 7pm, Irish time. We’d be delighted if you’d join us, to hear us read and celebrate the publication of Máighréad’s new book, Imbolg.
Time: Dec 11, 2020 07:00pm GMT To join the Zoom Event email in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
* * *
Nuala O’Connor lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. Her forthcoming fifth novel, NORA, is about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce; it appears in January 2021 in the USA and in Ireland in April. Her new chapbook of historical flash fiction, Birdie, was recently published by Arlen House. Nuala is editor at flash e-zine Splonk.
Máighréad Medbh lives in Dublin. Imbolg, just published by Arlen House, is her eighth book of poetry, and incorporates older work with a sequence written this year. Her previous book, Parvit of Agelast, is a verse fantasy and was shortlisted for the 2017 Pigott Prize. She has also published a prose work, Savage Solitude, with Dedalus Press. She has been known as a performance poet, and is currently working on a creative-critical PhD at DCU.
Birdie By Nuala O’Connor Arlen House, €10.00 Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 06:00
As you would expect from O’Connor, this collection of flash fiction is a menagerie of exquisite language. The stories transport us to moments in time, and to no-time, as the author paints fragments of history that are palpable with characters who come alive in a brushstroke. Artists and sitters are here as are servants, soldiers, mothers and sisters in stories of losing, longing, and home. Historical fiction can sometimes be clogged with research – not so in these stories which are glances, swift and sensory, with grace-notes of details to let us recognise where we are. Here is the “crookedness of nature,” the lure and lore of home but also the emigrant, the lost lover, the perished child. This collection takes us from the olagón to the “shale-and-ripple of a shell”: a pearl. – Ruth McKee