Contributor Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s new, lovingly-crafted chapbook of flash fictions is a must-read! Of Dublin and Other Fictions includes “Jesus of Dublin” first published in our Irish issue, Volume 33.2-3, which received a special mention from The Best American Series.
“Nuala Ní Chonchúir does sacred and profane, male and female, love, sex and war, body and mind, the Irish, the human and the non-human, better than almost any other writer I know. Her language is part poetry, part bawdyhouse; her short short stories will leave you gasping and reeling. She surely is an adjective by now: NíChonchúiresque, an original, unique.” Tania Hershman, author of My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent, 2012)
A lively touting by contributing editor Gregg Murray:
A Story Concerning Nuala Ní Chonhúir’s Of Dublin and Other Fictions
So I’m sharing a cab with this impecunious muzzle who says he’s a writer. Oh, and he is an impatient reader who likes surprises, le mot juste, and the sentences of Flann O’Brien. I like stories—who doesn’t?—but I won’t read flagellant prose to get it. I’ll take the movie version after a sixer of the Beast if I’m just in it to find out what happens next. Well, this guy giggles into his patchwork mittens, and we’re getting on pretty good, until the cabbie says, “So it’s like that” and starts quoting this jaw-dropping stuff we’ve never heard of.
“There you saw Nicholas’s lorry, on its side, spilling a sea of fish onto the tarmac. The fish were grey and doll-eyed and the road was completely blocked.”
“I know,” he says in wonder. “That’s the word it had to be.” And we’re just listening. They’re all prose poems obviously, and it’s mythical in one breath and in the next it’s as real as an insult. Anyway, he just keeps after it, describing worlds like ours but with the blade of truth stuck in their brawny trunks. “Pikes, muskets, cannon, horses, and men, men, men. Piled around the fields of Aughrim. Where before there was ragwort and bog pimpernel, there was gore.”
And we’re huddled against each other in the back, me and this guy I wouldn’t know from Adam. Now, “She is a tree, this branch-haired woman with a trunk body and bark cloak. Birds nestle in her hair. At laying time, Treewoman opens her bellydoor and a partridge flies in.” He’s telling us about this “Treedaughter” in a micro-poetry bildungsroman, replete with moral, and then he steers into the Café de la Gare and is suddenly assuming the persona of Vincent van Gogh with a razor-blade. And then it’s “Jesus of Dublin” and “egglore” and fog making water “drip like tears from the trees.” Amazing.
Well, long story short. The cabbie’s getting all worked up and in a trance and crashes the cab, and so we all three die and our fishdead bodies in the streetlit road have this phosphorescent sheen on them like we’re in the Bible or something.
*all text inside quotation are from Nuala Ní Chonhúir’s Of Dublin and Other Fictions
Introduce yourself to this important Irish writer today with Of Dublin and Other Fictions!