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Seanachie: A Boston Irish Storyteller and Part-Time Shaman

Books about place, magic, Faeries, Ireland, sex, God, and love

Currently reading

New Orleans as It Was
Charles "Pie" Dufour, Henry C. Castellanos
New Orleans after the Civil War
Justin A. Nystrom
Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (complete: First & Second Series)
Isabella Augusta Persse (Lady Gregory)
Bright Dead Things: Poems
Ada Limon
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson
Desire: Poems
Frank Bidart
Selected Poems 1976-2012
Jorie Graham
An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry
Wes Davis (Editor)
I Am An Executioner: Love Stories
Rajesh Parameswaran
An Artist of the Floating World
Kazuo Ishiguro

Thirteen Ways of Looking

Thirteen Ways of Looking - Colum McCann This is a brilliant collection of characters. They have rich internal dialogues entirely at odds with the words that spouts from their lips. The collection is bookended by a pair of powerful stories. One is a Jewish lawyer (Vilnius through Dublin through Brooklyn to the Upper East Side) whose downfall is attributable to the sins of his (apostate) son. This story alternates between the internal monologue of the lawyer and the view of the team of detectives assigned to investigate his murder. It raises questions of what constitutes justice. The second bookend is the story of an elderly Maryknoll nun, who served in South America. She was brutalized and raped there, thirty-seven years before the story unfolds. She sees her rightwing attacker/rapist on a news program, which depicts him as a leftist peacemaker. She travels to London to confront him, but what she really confronts is her capacity for for forgiveness. In the author note, McCann oddly explicitly connects these stories to his own experience as a victim of crime; the connection robs the stories of their inventiveness and, without taking anything from McCann, he would have been better off divorcing his fiction from his real life.