A troubled boy convinces himself he can fly. An old crone decides to turn herself into a man. Two adolescents make an unusual list of ideal women. A childless couple is given their little nephew for the day. Buy the Book!
The players in these stories essentially are misfits. They operate on the margins, they come at life from an angle, whether by choice or by nature is not always apparent. They are at odds with the world they are growing into, or have already become part of. This marginalization has bequeathed them fractured relationships and distorted attitudes, affected their ability to engage in any meaningful way with whom they come in contact. The knock-on effect of this is that, like it or not, they must live with an inability to communicate with themselves.
For inspiration, I have looked close to home, across the Atlantic and more recently to eastern Europe. I love the Armenian writer William Saroyan's take on childhood. The confusion. The soon-to-be lost innocence. The human comedy of it all. I love the Russian Sergei Dovlatov's absurdity. His mordant humor. His matter-of-fact style. His chaos. Also, it's often a single story as much as a writer - the Joyce story Araby has always stayed with me. For the language. For the concision. For the 'discovery' the little boy makes when he finally gets to the exotic market of the story's title - not necessarily a 'happy' discovery, far from it in fact, but a valid discovery nevertheless.
Alan McMonagle is a poet, playwright and short fiction writer living in Galway. In 2007 he received his MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has received awards for his work from the Professional Artists’ Retreat in Yaddo (New York), the Fundación Valparaiso (Spain), the Banff Centre for Creativity (Canada) and the Arts Council of Ireland. He has contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America including The Adirondack Review, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, Natural Bridge, Grain, Prairie Fire, Southword and The Stinging Fly.
Liar Liar, his first collection of stories appeared in 2008 (Wordsonthestreet) and was longlisted for the 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The title story from his second collection, Psychotic Episodes, (Arlen House) was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. www.alanmcmonagle.com
Psychotic Episodes is published by Arlen House and was launched by Pat McMahon at the Cuirt International Festival of Literature 2013 on Saturday, April 27 at the Townhall Theatre, Galway.
It is distributed in America through Syracuse University Press http://www.syracuseuniversitypress.syr.edu/
and is also available through www.abebooks.com