Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Fost ...more
While she lives with the couple, the little girl experiences many things she had never encountere ...more
When a young girl from Clonegal, Ireland, in 1981, goes with her father to a farm in Wexford she has no idea what to expect. Told only that she will be staying with a man and his wife, the Kinsellas, she doesn’t know if she will ever be going back home. Her mother, Mary, is with child and near her time. With too ...more
I could live with being poor."
—From the song Sit Down, by James.
Set in rural Ireland, this very short story is spoken in the first-person narrative by a dirt-poor tinker’s daughter whose anonymity throughout serves to emphasise her incidental existence.
The girl's struggling mother, who gives birth as frequently as a hen lays eggs, has another on the way, so leaves the child in the care of the Kinsellas - farming relatives whom the kid has never met.
It swiftly be ...more
This girl comes from a struggling and overcrowded family and with the foster family, she sees a different sort of life, and she thrives from the affection shown to her.
I was very moved by this very short novella.
(Letter 16, 1657)”
― Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters
Poignant novella about a young girl from rural Ireland fostered out to relatives during a summer in the 1980s.
I loved this author’s style of writing. The language is spare and much is implied as details are slowly unfolding. It’s a great example of showing instead of just telling a story and made all the more powerful and vital for it.
I’m the ninth o ...more
An innocent young child discovers a new way of life when she is dropped off to stay with an unfamiliar couple. (perhaps relatives)
Set in rural Ireland on a farm in Wexford, the author gives just enough information to keep the reader guessing as we follow the daily life of the Kinsellas and a little girl in a house with no secrets....save one.
An emotional little gem of a read by Claire Keegan.
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain what I hear when you don’t say a thing”
--When You Say Nothing At All, Alison Krauss, Songwriters: Don Schlitz / Paul Overstreet
Set in Wexford, Ireland, in the 1980s, this is a quiet, beautifully written story, less than 100 pages, which began as an even shorter story. Beautifully written, this says so much with so few words - about love, and kindness and how transfo ...more
Secrets and Lies in 1981 County Wexford. 88 perfect pages. Faultless, graceful, haunting. I hope Keegan writes more soon. Well, not more. Because it's what she leaves out that makes it such a marvel, so no, not more. But more of this kind of minimalism. A starvation diet like the hunger striker whose death forms ...more
The best thing about this was definitely the writing. The way Claire Keegan tells the story is amazing. The little girl doesn't say much about her family but eventually you're able to create this picture in your head with all the little pieces of information she does tell you and you fill in the gaps where you need to. So for a ...more
'Early on a Sunday, after first Mass at Clonegal, my father, instead of taking me home, drives deep into Wexford towards the coast where my mother's people came from.'
She wears light, worn clothing and brings nothing with her. The girl is left with the Kinsella family, the father returns to her mother, soon to give birth again. There is no goodbye or word of when he might return. This is Ireland. Remember Nora Webster and all that is unspoken?
So begins Claire Keegan's long, short story Foster, a ...more
This story is simple.
No graphic horrors.
The genius of this short story
[ and, though it is in "book form", that is what it is]
lies with its surprise ending.
I was surprised I did not want the girl to return to her parents.
There were no clues that she had been abused or neglected
[beyond the "neglect" that comes to any child in a large family] by her biological parents.
It is true her family was very poor, but there is no particular
Winner of the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award in 2009, Claire Keegan has excelled herself here, in a long story which was originally published in a shorter form, in The New Yorker. Without giving away too much of the plot, our narrator, an unnamed ...more
‘You don’t ever have to say anything,’ he says. ‘Always remember that as a thing you need never do. Many’s the man lost much just because he missed a perfect opportunity to say nothing’
Foster by Claire Keegan is a story set in Ireland in rural Wexford, in the 1980s. It tells of a young girl who is fostered to the Kinsella family over the summer months. This story is based on the juxtaposition of her life with her own family, and of that with her foster family. It is a ...more
Keegan tells her story with restraint, honesty and a sense of truth that is refreshing. She does not intrude on the narrative with a showy voice, or stylistic verbosity, she simply lets the story unfold as it needs to. I admire this greatly. She allows the characters and their world to live and breath.
This is what Literary fiction is made for. ...more
I liked the subtle mysteriousness in the narration, through which Keegan leaves questions opened without explicitly explaining. At times the realistic background blurs into Gothic.The themes intertwine gently, and the author lets us imagine an ...more
Poignant. It caused me to smile and sigh and shed tears.
Here's a quote to mull over:
" 'Ah, the women are nearly always right, all the same,' he says. 'Do you know what the women have a gift for?'
'Eventualities. A good woman can look far down the line and smell what's coming before a man even gets a sniff of it.' "
Her story collections are Antarctica (London, Faber and Faber, 1999/New York, Grove/Atlantic, 1999); Walk the Blue Fields (Faber and Faber, 2007/ Grove Press, Black Cat, 2008); and the single story Foster (Faber and Faber, 2010).
Her awards include The Francis MacManus Award; The William Trevor Prize; the Olive Cook Award; the Los Angeles Times Book of the ...more