IRISH GIRL by Tim Johnston [Review]

I recently finished a book of short stories titled “Irish Girl” by Tim Johnston. This book was a recommendation made by my favorite author David Sedaris during his recent book reading in Long Beach, CA. Although I’d probably read anything recommended by Sedaris, the book wasn’t a hard sell. Tim Johnston is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter prize in short fiction and a O. Henry prize winner. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and he still works as a carpenter, which I think is pretty cool.

Irish Girl is a small collection of 8 dark stories revolving around rural American life. One story begins when a body is discovered at a construction site, while another focuses on a missing child in a small town. Each story is written in a way that makes you feel like it actually happened. Like these were real people divulging their darkest secrets. One story that particularly stuck with me is called “Water”. It’s about a young man that has committed a murder and it’s told from his mother’s point of view.

Johnston is a phenomenal writer and it won’t take two many pages before you start to realize why this guy has won so many awards. I can see why David Sedaris is a fan of his writing as their stories have much in common (Short stories, real characters, every day life). However, while David Sedaris tends to show the reader the comedy of real, everyday life, Johnston strives to unfold the pain and tragedy through these pieces of short fiction. I guess what I’m saying is that Irish Girl is a collection of fantastic writing, but don’t expect to laugh out loud. I encourage you to check this one out and see for yourself!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher:University of North Texas Press | Pages: 152 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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