If Ann Quin were a man would her writing have fallen into obscurity in the UK? Impossible. Her books would never have been out of print. Her comedy hailed. Her death would not be the first thing mentioned in articles about her but her writing would have lead. ‘Motherlogue’ is a brief example of how funny Quin is. This could easily have been a Nichols & May sketch. The story is a monologue from a hypercritical, and nosey, mother figure. A character type that is overused but with Quin all her jokes hit, and there’s a loneliness in ‘Motherlogue’ that elevates the story beyond mere parody.
First published in Transatlantic Review 32, 1969. Reprinted in The Unmapped Country & Other Stories, And Other Stories, 2018