‘Transmission’ by Blánaid McKinney

I was amazed by Sinéad Gleeson’s anthology The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories. It sent me off in loads of new directions: Wendy Erskine, Cathy Sweeney, Deidre Sullivan. I hadn’t encountered McKinney’s work before this story about a businessman methodically destroying his BMW on a patch of waste land in a small town. It’s located very much in concrete detail, but – like lots of stories I fall for – seems to rise carefully and gradually above reality into some sublime other zone. ‘And that was how they spent that particular evening, long and warm, doing nothing in particular, except watching a car die, and the sun go down.’

First published in Big Mouth, Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Phoenix House, 2000

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