The Irish: 3 Novellas
THE IRISH by Eddie Stack is a collection of 3 novellas set in rural Ireland. Entertaining and heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious, this is the best of contemporary Irish writing.
“Eddie Stack has a way of making you laugh and cry at the same time...a great Irish storyteller.” Willy Vlautin, author of Lean on Pete, Motel Life and Northline More
“Eddie Stack has a way of making you laugh and cry at the same time...a great Irish storyteller.” Willy Vlautin, author of Lean on Pete, Motel Life and Northline
THE IRISH is a collection of 3 novellas set in rural Ireland. Simple Twist of Fate; “No,” She Said, “Fortunately I've Never Had That Experience” and The Poet, The Psychic and The Knave, are entertaining and heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious and shine a light on an Ireland tourists rarely see.
Simple Twist of Fate
John and Mary Ross are titled Irish gentry, with a large estate and a low profile. They have two daughters, Penny and Maddy. Penny is a high-flying banker in Dublin, and has her eye on the family jewels. Her younger sister Maddy is an unmarried mother, gone eccentric since the birth of her child.
Maddy and her son Sam live in the servants’ quarters beside Rossmount House, and she caters to the needs of her parents, as if atoning for her fall from grace. It is rumoured that the father of Maddy’s son is a monk.
Apart from Lady Rosse’s binges on vodka or gin, Rossmount House is a tranquil place with plenty relics of old decency. Nobody expected the tremors that began when Penny brought home her future husband, Basil Sutton. There was something about Basil that put everything out of kilter.
Amazon reader Amy says of the novella: ‘lovingly crafted, like a fine tapestry... a microcosm of Ireland twined with threads of Greek myth.’
“No,” She Said, “Fortunately I've Never Had That Experience”
Kitty McEvoy has taught in a small Irish town for thirty years. Since the day she arrived, she has lived in the same apartment across The Square from Flanagan’s Bar. Through the pub window, Mrs. Flanagan has a cat’s eye view of Kitty’s world and the several serious relationships the teacher has had down the years. She can list every one of her suitors, and is puzzled that Kitty cannot hold onto a man. Her son Tommy has a crush on Kitty since his schooldays and fantasizes about her while he works behind the bar. As a form of therapy, he decides to write a book, using the pub ledger to hold his thoughts.
When Mrs. Flanagan’s cousin, Delia Flynn, comes to teach at the school, she brings gossip about Kitty every now and then. The Flanagans’ view of Kitty's world expands. It's stranger than they had imagined, and Tommy’s book goes off on tangents. It's a soul-searching journey through prose, poetry and portraits, but he sticks with it. As the characters that orbit his life leave the book one by one, Tommy finds love and much more.
The Poet, The Psychic and The Knave
Out of touch for years, a poet and a psychic meet on an Irish country road, when he stops to give her a ride. Molly tells Paddy she now works for a psychic telephone line and is earning top money. He hears about the problems and dilemmas of her clients, and especially about Stanley, a dwarf with a Bono fetish.
A few months later Molly calls Paddy, and asks for help with a situation: Stanley has become a DJ and is doing a residency at a local resort. He wants to meet his psychic and the prospect is unsettling her. So she asks Paddy to be her escort. He agrees, and takes her to see the DJ. The meeting goes haywire and thus begins a love story and the bursting open of Stanley Huffington’s secret life.
Set in rural Ireland, Dublin, Barcelona and elsewhere, The Poet, the Psychic and the Knave, is a beautifully crafted novella. Told in alternating voices of the poet, psychic, dwarf and narrator, it a story with humor, poignancy and misguided redemption.
Amazon reader AnneDon says this is ‘an excellent short nove. Very enjoyable and good humoured - I'll look out for other work by this author.’
Praise for Eddie Stack's writing —
“Variously fantastic, comic, elegiac and nostalgic, Mr. Stack’s fiction
is versatile and engaging...a vivid, compassionate, authentic voice...securing (him) a place in the celebrated tradition of his country's storytelling." New York Times Book Review