The Stinging Fly Podcast

Staying Up All Night To Write A Story, Part 2 – Jon McGregor

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Sleep Watchers

‘Over Zoom one night, a therapist tucks her dark hair behind her ears and introduces herself as Maeve. They are about the same age, in their late thirties. She doesn’t ask about Orla’s childhood, or root around for scars. She says, Tell me what’s happening.’

Blackbirds

"When the other kids made fun of him for the holes in his jumper or not knowing who He-Man was, he just looked out the window towards home, the big house up the road and down the lane."

Plaster

"I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t call my friends. Everyone has had a time like this—when they look in the mirror and, sure enough, an unknown animal stares back."

Four Stories

Anam Zafar's translations of Najat Abed Alsamad's work offer shattering insights into everyday experiences of the war in Syria.

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‘I sit in my van and let it idle for a while, allowing the gentle hum of the engine to settle me. I take several deep breaths in. I don’t know why this has unnerved me so much. It is such a silly meaningless thing.’

Harlow

"His mother had a choice between keeping the monkey or having the baby. She told the story often, in company, with a roll of her eyes and a helpless grin, as if this was the sore spot, the branching crossroads where her life had gone wrong. "

Books
Young Skins

The most underpraised of the Irish newcomers, Young Skins is a fine collection dominated by the novella 'Calm With Horses', a bravura performance in which Barrett simply outwrites many of his peers with a chilling confidence that suggests there is far more beneath the surface than merely the viciously effective black humour. — Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times, 'Fiction of the Year'

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Sleep Watchers

‘Over Zoom one night, a therapist tucks her dark hair behind her ears and introduces herself as Maeve. They are about the same age, in their late thirties. She doesn’t ask about Orla’s childhood, or root around for scars. She says, Tell me what’s happening.’

Blackbirds

"When the other kids made fun of him for the holes in his jumper or not knowing who He-Man was, he just looked out the window towards home, the big house up the road and down the lane."