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Creatures Of The Earth: New And Selected Stories (2006)

Creatures Of The Earth: New And Selected Stories (2006)

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0571225667 (ISBN13: 9780571225668)
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About book Creatures Of The Earth: New And Selected Stories (2006)

I've been reading this on and off for quite a while. Short stories between other novels. I think this might be the first time I've ever had a very strong personal reaction to a set of short stories.McGahern has always been there floating on the periphery for me. A man who comes up regularly as an important Irish author, but I'd just never gotten round to reading him. He died in 2006.I think this collection has a strong overlap with The Collected Stories; it has just two new ones. So if you could get your hands on either then either would do.And I think you should, if you are at interested in what happened to Ireland in the latter half of the twentieth century. I've never encountered anything that encapsulated both urban and rural culture so completely. The interactions and social arrangements contained in these small, largely uneventful tales explains more than any number of histories you might read. It's all in here: the family, the farm, the land, the pub, hurling and football, the escape to Dublin, trips home, the drinking, marriage, the civil service, the teachers, the priests, the gardai, trade unions, Protestants, neighbours, mass, weddings, funerals. A lot of the stories follow repetitive structures, slight variations on common experiences. It feels natural, cyclical.I'm having trouble articulating how big and moving I found this collection as a whole. I feel like it has impressed something important upon me. It has not so much changed my outlook as given it foundations and scope.

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