|Kevin Barry, IMPAC winner & editor of Town & Country (pic: Guardian)|
When you have a story in an anthology like this, naturally you are interested to see if reviewers notice or care about your story. My story 'Joyride to Jupiter' got a bit of a thrashing from Valerie Riordan at BookMunch: 'Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s ‘Joyride To Jupiter’ covers the sadness and horror of a partner lost to dementia, and, though it’s decently written, it’s a fairly predictable story, up to and including the ending (no spoilers!); the hints about child abuse are a clever addition, adding ambiguity to the reader’s relationship with the narrator, but I’m not sure, still, that this elevates the story to the level I’d like to see in an anthology like this one.' Ouch.
But the Scotsman review, by Tom Adair, felt differently: 'Thankfully, other stories soar without much effort. “Joyride to Jupiter”, perfectly pitched, a tender love story by the gifted Nuala Ni Chonchuir, is the pre-eminent example, telling its tale of a couple’s cruel disintegration, held somehow together by selfless love, producing an ending that is excruciatingly moving.' Tom - I am tracking you down to hug you and shove a copy of my forthcoming Scotland-set novel into your paw :)
Giles Newington reviews the book in The Irish Times today and he finds it a 'sharp, lively and varied selection', while noting the absent writers and singling out, among others, newcomers Colin Barrett and Lisa McInerney for praise.It's an exciting business having a story in such a prominent anthology and, personally, I think it's a great one - I was gobsmacked by several stories, including Éilís Ní Dhuibhne's and Keith Ridgway's. And it's equally exciting (and nerve-wracking) reading the reviews. Bring 'em on!