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Celtic & Irish

Yesterday's Weather

Anne Enright.
Publisher Grove  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780802118745
Pages/Publication Date 308/2008
Daedalus Item Code 32470
This item is not available.
The author of the 2007 Man Booker Prize winner The Gathering, Irish writer Anne Enright here surveys her own short fiction over two decades in a collection of 31 stories, which includes all of the collection Taking Pictures, much of The Portable Virgin, and two stories from a 1989 Faber anthology, her first outing in print. Most are concise—no more than eight or ten pages—yet together they form a series of deeply moving glimpses into a rapidly changing Ireland.

"Irish writer Enright is a sly and scintillating examiner of the human condition, and nowhere do her rapier-like observations probe more flawlessly than in this adroit and frisky collection of short stories exploring the urgency and delicacy of contemporary relationships. Whether illicit, complacent, raucous, or joyous, love, sex, and everything in between is fair game.... Enright's heroines, especially, are a multifarious lot, full of zesty emotions and slender motives tempered with self-doubt and recriminations.... Through dialogue that sparkles with a savory nonchalance, Enright's characters and their situations are made both recognizable and foreign, ensuring her readers a transformative and buoyant escapade into the heart of a sensuous society."—Booklist

"Enright's subjects are family, children, love, domestic horror. The stories are strong and hard bitten. Something in them is always snagging and catching on grief, large or small. She is a confident writer, letting stories unfold at their own speed. Her best pieces have a fluid shape that feels close to the way we actually think, choose, muse. Some pieces, like 'Until the Girl Died,' are about the awful parts of marriage: tales of domestic hell, the contemporary Irish variety. Others are grounded in the ordinary life that seems to appeal to few American writers these days. 'Caravan,' for example, about a rainy family holiday on the cheap in France, is just the sort of cutting, generous, surprising story that Raymond Carver might have written, had he been an Irishwoman. The title story, 'Yesterday's Weather,' has to do with babies and in-laws, 'nappies' and snot. Unpromising ingredients, but the story succeeds, even achieves a state of grace. Enright is often bloody-minded, never heartless. 'The Cruise' is about aged parents and the limits of kinship, and feels awkwardly surprising and exactly true. 'Little Sister' is about a girl dying of anorexia, told from the point of view of an older sister. Bare, fierce, daringly whimsical, it may be the strongest story in the collection, which is saying a lot.... Enright mixes ingredients just right, achieving that alluring instability the short story form seems to demand. Yesterday's Weather is a powerful book from a writer who speaks plainly and knows that hardly anything is quite as it seems.—Washington Post

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