I first became aware of Emma Donoghue when she was shortlisted in 2010 for the novel, The Room. I was not sure I would appreciate the content of this book, told from the point of view of a very young child held captive along with his mother by an abductor so I have not tried to read it yet.
Recently in order to expand my knowledge of contemporary Irish Short Stories, partially in preparation for Irish Short Stories Week Year II in March, I purchased a Kindle edition of New Irish Short Stories (2011) selected and introduced by Joseph O'Connor. His most recent novel, Ghost Light was picked as the Dublin "One City, One Book" selection for 2011. "Visiting Hours" by Emma Donaghue was included in this collection so I was happy to be able to try out a story by her. (Dublin, 1969)
"Visiting Hours" starts out in the newly born ward of a hospital. The story is told from the point of view of one of the women working there. The story focuses mostly on the narrators observations on the people in the ward. The story is really in part about how her work has changed her perceptions. You can see she is oriented toward result driven activities. The narrative rhythm of the story also conveys this point. At times I found the narrative voice a bit "sing songish" and forced but the story kept my attention for the six pages. The style was interesting and there were lots of interesting and perceptive remarks made in passing. I admit I still do not know if I would want to read Room but I now might. I enjoyed this story a lot.
You can learn more about the writings of Donaghue at her webpage.
I hope you will consider joining us for Irish Short Stories Week in March. All you will be asked to do is post on any Irish short story you like and let me know about it so we can all share in the experience.