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Delaney's People: A Novel in Small Stories by Beth Duke

His hair, dense as scrub, stood up, as uncombed as ever. Against the pallor of the skin, the insides of his nostrils seemed almost to glow red.

Delaney's People: A Novel In Small Stories

And I saw, not for the first time, his deerlike eyelashes. Famine and poverty, IRA rebellion and government brutality are dividing the island through violence and anger.

Delaney's People: A Novel In Small Stories

The piper ceased. Voices rose and fell in the muttered and stuttered litanies of obsequy. Some of the prayers ran away with the breeze. Dipping a round-knobbed silver pestle into a small silver bucket, the priest scattered holy water on the coffin.

Learn English and Improve Vocabulary through Story: Swan lake (level 1)

Now the loss began to bite. Each line that makes up The Last Storyteller is tight, poetic, and so delicately dense that I suspect I could go through the short chapters with the same careful attention that Delaney is showing James Joyce in his Re:Joyce unpacking of Ulysses, and continually find new references and rhythms.

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There are the legends and stories that underpin every modern story and all of our lives. My approach to writing women changed a little while I was in Istanbul, which was where I was right before I came here. It all made me more conscious of what it means to move through the world as a woman in a more vulnerable position. As a result, I got more interested in confronting the small difficulties and micro-aggressions towards women, rather than obvious and immediately describable oppression.

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  • I try to do justice to a cultural atmosphere that affects what it means to be a woman in the world and in America. The world and the story come from the character, so once I know and have established who the character is, everything else falls out of that. Understanding the character is the largest part of the battle. Being at Iowa is also great because there are so many strong feminist writers and a culture of people who are happy to listen to each other.

    They are working through really serious issues and are so supportive of each other. I wrote my first story was when I was eight.

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    Teaching third graders full time was really draining. The Rona Jaffe Foundation Graduate Fellowship made it possible for me to quit my job and move here, but more importantly, it helped me realize that writing is my number one obligation. It allowed me to establish a routine and make sure I write every day.