Mary Kenny

In Death As In Life

Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans

By

Jonathan Cape 301pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

No one does death as gracefully as the Irish. Truly. It is a subject handled with the greatest openness and lack of inhibition – rather as the sex educationalists say we ought to be about sexual matters. I met a young woman from Kerry recently – in her early twenties – who had lost her mother about a year ago. ‘I am sorry for your bereavement,’ I said, as you must always say in Ireland to anyone, stranger or friend, who has had such a loss. ‘Oh, ’tis sad all right,’ she said cheerily. ‘But sure, ’tis nature.’ A strangely sane attitude, I thought. She went on to tell me about her mother’s wake, with the coffin in the living room and all the relations quarrelling the while. ‘Sure, my Ma was the most alive person in the room.’ 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,