Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Patrick O'Keeffe's
The Hill Road (2005)

An evocative collection of Irish stories

AN evocative début collection of four novella-length stories on love and abandonment, death, unfulfilled yearnings, opportunities lost, greed and the difficulty of forgiveness, set against the timeless and beguiling rural Irish landscape, isolated in a cloistered world of its own. With much skill and dexterity and a lyrical prose style verging on the poetic, Ireland-born Patrick O'Keeffe captures not only the elements and nuances of the hauntingly beautiful Irish countryside but the ordinariness of lives that people this landscape as well. The Hill Road is both an accomplished début and a well-realised work of fiction.

He would walk in from work, enter the kitchen without a word, a deadened, distant and glassy look in his eyes, and his wife and son and the objects around him, such as doors or stairs, that she had spent all day polishing, were invisible, he, impervious to the four sturdy walls that held him, the woman and the boy who loved and wanted only to please him. Patrick O'Keeffe, in “The Hill Road”

O'KEEFFE Patrick [1963-] Short-story writer. Born in County Limerick, Ireland. STORIES The Hill Road (2005: winner of the 2005 Story Prize for Short Fiction)


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