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Love is the central force in Birdie, a collection of sixteen historical and out-of-time flash fictions that sing with the voices of women loving and losing and learning. The characters here find strength, despite the sorrows of death and deceit: a ghost-child returns to Massachusetts to comfort her grieving mother; the daughter of a Spanish orange tycoon regrets her mother's terrible choices; an English maid longs for, but can't be with, her mistress's son.

Birdie contains Nuala O'Connor's signature ekphrastic work, drawing on artists as diverse as Matisse, da Vinci, and American painter Edwin Romanzo Elmer. The natural world looms large too: sheep and foxes roam these pages, as much as seawater washes through them.

Described by the Toronto Star as a writer of 'magical imagination' and by the Washington Post as 'soaring', O'Connor's collection of historical flash will delight her readers, old and new.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 50 pages
  • 138 x 216mm
  • Galway, Ireland
  • English
  • 1851322620
  • 9781851322626
  • 386,000

Table of contents

Eleanor's Last
Ebauche, Esquisse, Etude, Tableau
American Wake
La Gioconda Claims Her Name
The Day Leopoldine Hugo was Lost
Sappho's Apple
Naranjito's Daughter
Mourning Becomes Shelburne Falls
The Forgotten Front
Hulda's Tears
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About Nuala O'Connor

Nuala O'Connor lives in County Galway. In 2019 she won the James Joyce Quarterly competition to write the missing story from Dubliners, 'Ulysses'. Her fourth novel, Becoming Belle, was published to critical acclaim in 2018 in Ireland, the UK, the USA and Canada. Her next book, Nora, due in 2021, is a bio-fictional novel about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce. Nuala has published five collections of short fiction, including the flash chapbook, Of Dublin and Other Fictions. She is editor-in-chief at flash e-zine Splonk. She has won many flash and short fiction awards including the Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Prize, The Gladstone Flash Prize, RTE's Francis MacManus Award, the Cuirt New Writing Prize, the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award, and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. She was shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.
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