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Descripción de editorial
This prize-winning debut collection of 15 stories by the acclaimed Irish author are “among the finest contemporary stories written recently in English” (The Observer).
The compassionate, witty, and unsettling short stories collected here announced Claire Keegan as one of Ireland’s most exciting and versatile new talents and earned comparison to the works of Joyce Carol Oates, Alison Lurie, Raymond Carver, and others. From the titular story about a married woman who takes a trip to the city with a single purpose in mind—to sleep with another man—Antarctica draws readers into a world of obsession, betrayal, and fragile relationships.
In “Love in the Tall Grass,” Cordelia wakes on the last day of the twentieth century and sets off along the coast road to keep a date, with her lover, that has been nine years in the waiting. In “Passport Soup,” Frank Corso mourns the curious disappearance of his nine-year-old daughter and tries desperately to reach out to his shattered wife who has gone mad with grief. Throughout the collection, Keegan’s characters inhabit a world where dreams, memory, and chance can have crippling consequences for those involved.
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001, and recipient of the prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the William Trevor Prize, Antarctica is a rare and arresting debut.
“These stories are diamonds.” —Emily Robichaud, Esquire
“A keen and unflinching observer, [Keegan] will appeal to fans of Roddy Doyle.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers should look forward to seeing her next book.” —Booklist
The chill reaches to the bones of this debut collection of 15 stories by Keegan, an acclaimed young Irish writer whose precisely articulated, clear prose illuminates her native land. In Keegan's Ireland, it is eternally winter, and familial relations provide neither appeasing warmth nor protection. Her mostly female narrators dwell on the cusp of self-knowledge; they have ruefully observed the example set by their mothers, aunts and grandmothers "flat-bellied, temperamental women who've given up and call it happiness" and are slowly feeling out new possibilities for their own lives. Rebellions range from the small and symbolic (a mother takes the wheel of a car and leaves her husband stranded) to the wider-reaching (a woman decides to keeps her illegitimate child). Such victories cannot keep the harshness of the world at bay and are of little help, for example, to the couple whose daughter is kidnapped. Yet Keegan depicts the ascendance of a generation of women who "can butt in and take over, rescue and be rescued" in an Ireland on the verge of a self-generated wave of feminism. The setting of several stories in the U.S. (where Keegan did her undergraduate work) is indicated only by a smattering of details such as baseball hats and fast food; they might as well, and with greater effect, have been set in Ireland. While Keegan's imagery occasionally bears the clear brand of the M.F.A. program, these moments are few and are outweighed by the restraint with which she deploys such imagery, and by her stern refusal to fall back on anything that might resemble a happy ending.