‘Mary Lavin’s stories… are subtle without making a palaver about it, beautifully told, no pat endings, no slickness; and as in life, nothing is resolved.’ William Trevor
First published in 1943, Tales from Bective Bridge is a collection of ten stories that memorably depict the rural mid-lands of Ireland and their people. Mary Lavin, though American-born, grew up in Athenry; and though the Irish short story was a dauntingly well-established form she succeeded in reinventing it with this, her debut collection, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, which exhibits a Chekhovian gift for the meaning of small things, contrary behaviours and emotions. This 2012 edition, reissued for the centenary of Mary Lavin’s birth, includes an introduction by Evelyn Conlon.
‘One of modern Irish fiction’s most subversive voices… [Lavin’s] art explored often brutal tensions, disappointments and frustrations dictating the relationships within so-called ‘normal’ families.’ Eileen Battersby, Irish Times