Seán Mackel’s debut collection explores the intricacy of narratives between people and place, across time and territory.
In the title story, an ageing house painter discovers the river to be the only true bridge. Elsewhere, a young couple reconcile the past through music, a dusty professor finds release working with a Czech puppeteer, and a surprise awaits the 1948 Tillies Shirt Factory Queen.
The reader embarks on an intriguing journey beginning in 1920s Donegal through Derry during WWII, from Australia to Poland and back again to a contemporary city on the cusp of cultural celebration.
‘These stories display a scrupulous sympathy for the characters and the small rewards they find in their attempts to keep on going.
‘The writing is simple and honest and touched with wonder ... With great delicacy, these stories ask the question: What saves us all from drowning in the past?’
ISBN 978 1 906271 33 6
Published November 2010, 160pp, 129mm x 197mm (tall), softback/french flaps