Oh my God. After like a year and a half of doing zoom events, just to have an actual pause for applause where people can clap, just feels really amazing. So thank you all. Please do loads of like whooping and yelping. Anything that really adds to the in-person vibe cause I’m feeling it.
So as humor says, hi, I’m Sasha. I’m the director of Cork in Galway. And I am, as you can probably tell, deeply excited to be doing an in person event as part of the West Cork glittery festival this year. I am going to be having a bit of conversation with Stephen and Louise this evening, and they’re going to read a bit from their books and then we’ll also have a chance to hear from you as mentioned, please, don’t be scared to ask a question. This is the first human contact we’ve had in so long. You need to make the most of it. I implore you. So I’ll do a bit of an intro. And then after that we’ll get started.
So Louise’s work has been published in the Stinging Fly. The Tangerine, Banshee (indistinct) and Ambit, and she’s been shortlisted twice for the Sunday Times audible short story award, two years in a row, no less. She’s written for The Guardian, The Times BBC radio four and RTE. “The end of the world is a Cul de Sac”, is her first book and it was called a dazzling heartbreaking debut by The Guardian and electric by The Sunday Times. And they’re not wrong.
Stephen Walsh’s work has been published in the White Review, The Stinging Fly and broadcast on RTE radio. Since beginning writing seriously in 2018, his stories have been shortlisted for the White Review, short story prize, the Royal Society of literature V S Pritchett short story award, the RTE Francis McManus story competition and the Fish short story prize right down here in Bantry, exciting stuff and Shine Variants is his first collection and published by Shadow and Windows. So please join me in welcoming Stephen and Louise. (audience applause). That was a mouthful, you guys have many accolades. Thank you so much for being here. Would you guys like to kick us off with a bit of a reading, get it out of the way early, fab Louise.
“So this is from the second story. I think it’s the second story and it’s called ‘Ïn silhouette’ and it’s about a teenage girl who gets dolled up to go out one night and somewhere near the border in the late seventies. And something happens to her that I suppose, changes her life. She tries to get away from it, but can’t really. So this is from it’s in sort of different passages. So this is probably from, is from maybe four years later when she’s in her early twenties and working on a cosmetics counter in a department store somewhere where she thinks she’s got away.
One of the security guards comes in. He’s the man who patrols the store for unattended bags, for accents like yours. He fills a cup with water from the boiler. There are four free seats at the table, but he sits in the