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March 3, 2018

#Read Ireland Kevin Barry

by N@ncy


Writer : Kevin Barry
Title short story: Deer Season
Published: The New Yorker, October 10 2016
Theme: Guilt (breaking the law); feeling of isolation
Setting: Province of Connacht, Ballymote, Co. Silgo
Timeline: 5 days in August…then the story ends in October



Who is Kevin Barry?

  1. Kevin Barry’s debut story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms,
  2. won the Rooney Prize for Literature in 2007.
  3. His short fiction has appeared most recently in The New Yorker.
  4. His novel, City of Bohane, was published in
  5. 2011 and won International Dublin Literary Award 2013.


Title: Deer Season

  1. At the end of the story the reader
  2. …can see the similarities between
  3. …a young deer and Edward.
  4. He  is frightened of what is to
  5. …become of him in the neighborhood.
  6. He feels hunted.



  1. Paragraphs: (26)
  2. Dialogue:  61 short lines of dialogue
  3. young girl (remains nameless) Edward and her father.



  1. Young nameless schoolgirl (17)
  2. She wore a cardigan – a gray
  3. …might seem a little nunly.
  4. “She declares herself a Romantic and
  5. …bare winter was her idyll.”


  1. Edward (35 )…with scruffy hair
  2. …rents cottage in the forest.
  3. His bungalow is filled with
  4. disheartening musk of adult maleness
  5. ...there was something military about the neatness.
  6. He had the hunted look of rural poverty.
  7. His clothes were not good,
  8. army surplus with ugly stout boots.
  9. Edward stepping carefully  about…
  10. like a heron.


  1. Backround information:
  2. Her father is on the farm
  3. …her mother is dead and
  4. …she has en older brother William.



  1. This adventure start out… .
  2. She purposely attracts a young man for
  3. …her clever idea of a summer fling.
  4. She didn’t have any great desire for the man,
  5. …but she liked his voice and he wasn’t fat.
  6. It was just a fun thing to do.
  7. But this summer fling has dire consequences
  8. …for vulnerable Edward (35 yr)
  9. He is a loner and feels…..just this once.
  10. He shall probably never have another chance.


Tone:  Gothic

  1. October dark fell.
  2. The night folded into quiet of its soft enclosure. 
  3. It was moonless and the great dark pressed in.
  4. The chill from the river,
  5. …fingers of mist, a dampness rose.
  6. The last remnants  of light
  7. …clawed in weak scratches across the sky.
  8. She walked beneath a cloak of widowly despair.



  1. Edwards house was  clean, tidy, reeked of animal want
  2. …damp pebble-dash bungalow (exterior wall finish).
  3. Misery essayed everywhere.
  4. There were lentils soaking on the draining board
  5. …he tired to scrub tea mug with index finger under the running tap.


Strong point: closure

  1. This adventure starts out…
  2. with the girl touching Edward:
  3. “...pads of her fingertip touch
  4. …his skinny biceps – like a dog’s muscle, twitched madly”
  5. Kevin Barry bookends the story with…
  6. “She made for home and the pads of her feet beat
  7. out the new soft rhythm of her power.
  8. She was stiff from the cold and felt many years older.”



  1. Kevin Barry…could be the
  2. new Irish short story writer
  3. I’ve been looking for!
  4. This was an absolutely wonderful story
  5. with and under tone of tragedy
  6. …and loss of innocence.
  7. The young girl does not know
  8. the ‘weight’ of her sensual powers
  9. ….until she gets the freedom to use them.
  10. #MustRead Irish author


Read more from fiction, Ireland, short story

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