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FOSTER by  Claire Keegan - Paperback - Signed First Edition - 2010 - from Kelleher Rare Books (SKU: 007081)


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by Keegan, Claire

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About This Item

2010. Book. New. Soft cover. Signed by Author(s). 1st Edition. Eleven sheets of 160 g/m white paper numbered [1 -22] containing the complete short story 'FOSTER' which was first printed in 'The New Yorker' 15 February 2010. (Print Edition). Signed by Claire Keegan to the top of the first page..


On Jun 17 2022, a reader said:
"As soon as he takes it, I realise my father has never once held my hand, and some part of me wants Kinsella to let me go so I won't have to feel this. It's a hard feeling but as we walk along I begin to settle and let the difference between my life at home and the one I have here be. He takes shorter steps so we can walk in time. I think about the woman in the cottage, of how she walked and spoke, and conclude that there are huge differences between people."

Foster is an extended short story by award-winning Irish author, Claire Keegan. When her mother is heavily pregnant with her fifth child, a young girl is deposited with John and Edna Kinsellla, a couple on a Wexford farm, people from her mother's family. How long she will stay is unsure, and she has no expectation about her reception there.

The care and attention given her by these strangers ought not be unfamiliar to her, but she initially struggles to trust the genuineness of the approval, encouragement and warm praise she receives. Criticism is what she's up used to from her parents, proud but poor folk struggling to make ends meet, her father a little too fond of a smoke, a drink and a wager; "With my mother it is all work: us, the buttermaking, the dinners, the washing up and getting up and getting ready for Mass and school, weaning calves and hiring men to plough and harrow the fields, stretching the money and setting the alarm."

With Edna Kinsella: "Her hands are like my mother's hands but there is something else in them too, something I have never felt before and have no name for. I feel at such a loss for words but this is a new place, and new words are needed."

The girl is happy to help with chores around the house and farm and enjoys the spirit of cooperation the couple has; any mistakes or missteps are excused without fuss. It's later that a gossipy neighbour reveals some thing about the couple that helps her understand her position with them. Shown kindness and love, it's little wonder she's sad to leave them at the end of summer.

Keegan's descriptive prose is often gorgeous: " There's a big moon shining on the yard, chalking our way onto the lane and along the road" and "The wind is high and hoarse in the trees, tearing fretfully through the dry boughs, and their leaves rise and swing." Her spare prose succinctly evokes setting, situation and mood. it is no surprise this story is a prize winner.

This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Grove Atlantic.

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book dealer
Kelleher Rare Books IE (IE)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
Keegan, Claire
Book condition
New New
1st Edition
Date Published
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Kelleher Rare Books

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About Kelleher Rare Books

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