Antarctica by Claire Keegan
From Grove Press:
Compassionate, witty, and unsettling, Antarctica is the debut collection of one of Ireland’s most exciting and versatile new talents. Claire Keegan, winner of several prestigious awards including the William Trevor Prize, writes stories that have a razor-sharp narrative style and unembellished tone, and move from the cruel, hard life of rural Ireland to the hot landscape of the southern United States.
From the title story about a married woman who takes a trip to the city with a single purpose in mind—to sleep with another man—Antarctica draws you into a world of obsession, betrayal, and fragile relationships. In “Love in the Tall Grass,” Cordelia wakes on the last day of the twentieth century and sets off along the coast road to keep a date, with her lover, that has been nine years in the waiting. In “Passport Soup,” Frank Corso mourns the curious disappearance of his nine-year-old daughter and tries desperately to reach out to his shattered wife who has gone mad with grief.
Keegan’s characters inhabit a world where dreams, memory, and chance can have crippling consequences for those involved. Moving in its quiet intensity, the award-winning Antarctica is a rare and arresting debut.