‘Graceland’ by Philip Ó Ceallaigh

Another Stinging Fly! I love this story. It depicts a father’s day out with his daughter so beautifully that it made me reminisce about father-daughter museum days I’m not sure I ever had. It’s also a very touching look at how children perceive the world, the things they notice that adults have become blind to. It’s an honest depiction of a fractured marriage and the protagonist’s frustration at being unable to see his child. This image, in which the father is acknowledging and making peace with his rage, particularly struck me: He hushed the violence. He whispered to it and caressed it like you would a cat to gain its trust then he gripped the loose skin of the nape and removed it squirming from the room.”

First published and available to read in The Stinging Fly, May 2021. Collected in Trouble, The Stinging Fly 2021

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