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Fishing the Sloe-Black River: Stories Paperback – November 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 2nd.Printing edition (November 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805041079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805041071
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,945,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Songdogs, his first novel, Colum McCann, who divides his time between Ireland and America, explores the tensions created by movement between such different worlds. The thematic thread in this collection of short stories is much the same--the longing to escape from, and the pull toward, a fixed and central point. Sometimes the theme is explored through travel: a survivor of Hiroshima emigrates to western Ireland, but always feels the blast of that defining moment; a young Irishwoman moves frenetically through America in search of tranquillity. Sometimes the motion is within the mind, as it is for the paralyzed cyclist who discards his bike after realizing that "the only thing it could be ridden with was a perfect cadence of the imagination." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Following his U.S. debut in the highly praised Songdogs, McCann's first collection of short stories is now published here, three years after its initial U.K. appearance. These are 12 exceptionally crafted and thought-provoking tales, in which we glimpse not only the immediate world of the characters but also a good deal of their origins and ancestry. This makes for rich, multilayered work, as in the opening story, "Sisters," which spans about 30 years in the life of a bitter woman who says, "My promiscuity was my autograph," while her anorexic sister became a nun. The moving "A Word in Edgewise" captures a lifetime with poignant detail and delicate timing. Some stories recall Raymond Carver in their directness, told in local vernacular and exposing a passing, vital revelation or epiphany?as in "Through The Field," in which a teenage murderer reveals his sole fear. Others are allegorical and surreal, like the melancholy title piece, which takes a new turn on the age-old scourge of emigration. Or "Cathal's Lake," where the souls of war victims from Northern Ireland are reborn as swans on a quiet rural waterway. In "Around the Bend and Back Again," we ponder not only the tragedy of a fragile girl but also the crucial tension between employment and environmentalism in an Irish town. Set in diverse locations ranging from urban New Orleans to rural Ireland, and encompassing the lives of a startling range of cultures and characters, this superlative collection shows an impeccable command of style and language. Highly regarded in Ireland, McCann should begin to command a wide readership here. Rights: Robin Straus Agency .
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections. His fiction has been published in thirty languages. He has been a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was the inaugural winner of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of Esquire's "Best and Brightest," and his short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing Program. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
In each of the stories, believable characters tell their stories in a manner which is a joy to read (and re-read).
McCann really knows how to get the reader's emotions running high through the lovingly crafted words and painstakingly described thoughts of his characters.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most magnificent collections of short stories I have ever read. Disarmingly provocative and true. The final story Cathal's Lake is truly a classic in contemporary literature about Northern Ireland. A reading experience I will never forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maria do rosario casas coelho on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is his first short story collection. It is about loss, loneliness, and immigration as a whole. The Irish diaspora is portrayed from the perspective of the ones who left Ireland and the ones who stayed. The author uses personal stories to deepen the topic what makes it absolutely fantastic!Everything in This Country Must: A Novella and Two Stories
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colum McCann is noted for the mosaic construction of his novels--the books assemble and reassemble before your delighted eyes. The short story form does not give him the spatial and temporal latitude to do this. The stories, however, are fine and sometimes deeply touching. The title story, in particular, is a small masterwork--it makes its point in a quiet, poetic way and breaks the heart.
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1 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
a whole lot of attention for this young writer, but I don't see the goods ... a real bore
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