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Irish Short Story Week – O’Connor & Behan

March 15, 2011
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In honor of St Patrick’s Day, Mel at The Reading Life is hosting Irish Short Story Week.  I missed Monday, so I’m starting the week off with two stories about young boys and their experiences with the Catholic Church and family.

First is Frank O’Connor and his famous short story The First Confession.  The First Confession is a humorous story about a young Catholic boy’s fear of his first confession.  The story is from the perspective of the young boy, so viewpoints are skewed which enhance the hilarity of the story.  The best character is his mean sister and her ways of antagonizing him.  His sister and grandmother egg him on in the tale to make the boy feel that he has committed great sins.

“I decided that, between one thing and another, I must have broken the whole ten commandments, all on account of that old woman, and so far as I could see, so long as she remained in the house, I had no hope of ever doing anything else.”

The perspective and flow of this short story make it a great read.

The next short story is The Confirmation Suit by Brendan Behan.  This story covers the never ending battle between the older and younger generations when it comes to fashion.  Behan writes of the typical fears of a young boy when it comes to being made fun of and how that often clashes with the love and well meaning attentiveness of adults.  This is a true to life story with plenty of humor.

Both of these short stories provide glimpses into the lives of boys growing up in the Catholic Church in Ireland.  They are simple tales that describe family dynamics and provide plenty of humor.  Both are good for an introduction into Irish Short Story Week.  More stories to come soon …

These two stories were found for free online here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 4:01 pm

    Thanks for participating in Irish Short Story Week-I will be posting on a story by Frank O’Conner that I really liked. “My Oedipus Complex”. It is also told from the point of view of a young boy. I will add the Behan story to my read soon list-thanks so much for the link and your great posts-

    • March 16, 2011 6:04 am

      Thanks! I look forward to reading your post on “My Oedipus Complex.” I’m enjoying Irish Short Story Week!

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