Random musings

Book Shop Day thread: The Art of the Glimpse

A version of this post was previously published as a Twitter thread @thewildgees on 3 October 2020

As it’s Book Shop Day let’s have another book thread. The Art of the Glimpse, a new anthology of Irish short stories collected and edited by Wild Gees fav Sinéad Gleeson, includes lesser heard Irish voices – LGBTQ, Travellers, people of colour and some forgotten women writers.

Norah Hoult, who died in 1984, wrote several novels and short stories. Described as “a woman writer who falls completely out of fashion and is forgotten. She was an absolutely brilliant writer and well-known at the time in a way she isn’t now”. In The Art of the Glimpse, Hoult’s ‘Nine Years is a Long Time’ tells the story of a sex worker in pre-war Liverpool and includes timeless themes of poverty, loveless marriage, middle age and being slut-shamed by your teenage daughter.

Irish-American Elizabeth Cullinan was a regular contributor to the New Yorker and published two short story collections, now little known. ‘The Swim’, her story in The Art of the Glimpse, is about a date with an Irish writer and a dip in the sea at Howth. Elizabeth has no Wikipedia article, if any Irish editors are looking for ideas.

Ranelagh-born Maeve Brennan was another writer who made it big in New York but hadn’t much recognition in her home country. Her (very) short story in TAOTG is ‘The Morning After the Big Fire’ – the tale of a “really satisfactory fire” from a child’s perspective.

We’ve been stanning Sinéad since we encountered her on Day 2 of our Wild Gees trip. We loved her book Constellations and now The Art of the Glimpse – run out and grab it quick before Book Shop Day is over!

Also thanks to Sinead we discovered this quote: “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit” Flavia Dzodan. Words to live by #WildGees