Moving about the Place: Word-perfect short stories from Evelyn Conlon

Book review: Conlon holds back so that it means something when she lets go

Evelyn Conlon. Photograph: Alan Betson

Evelyn Conlon. Photograph: Alan Betson

Why is Evelyn Conlon not more often spoken of in the same breath as contemporaries Colm Tóibín, John Banville and Sebastian Barry? Not that I am descending on the paper of record to cast an Aosdána member as some sort of literary urchin: Conlon is a deservedly acclaimed practitioner of Irish fiction.

Her latest story collection – with acknowledgments stating that earlier versions of some of the stories have been published widely in Ireland as well as Italy, China and Canada – proves that it should be impossible to discuss her generation’s achievements without addressing Conlon’s own.

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