Saturday, August 21, 2021

Top 10 books about family life

Stephen Walsh is an Irish writer.

In his debut story collection Shine/Variance, "there’s a father smiling his way through a crisis while Christmas tree shopping with his son, a daughter pretending there’s nothing wrong with her mother, brothers and sisters realising who their parents really are."

At the Guardian, Walsh tagged ten "books about families [he's] been thrilled to read about (but pretty glad not to be part of)," including:
Amongst Women by John McGahern

The finest Irish family novel. A once ranking officer in the war of independence, Michael Moran is now a wounded beast, his grip over his wife Rose and his children failing. In Amongst Women, it feels we’re watching a form of Irish family – closed, silent, patriarchal – slip away with Moran. It is the women in this family, caring for Moran in his decline, who are in control. From the opening line – “As he weakened, Moran became afraid of his daughters” – to the final image of his sons laughing as they walk back from his funeral as if they were “coming from a dance”, we’re held in the grip of this family, and the spare prose of McGahern.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue