BRIGITTE And Other Stories by Niall Quinn

BRIGITTE And Other Stories

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Irish writer Quinn's fictional world resembles that grungy one of the down and out in early Orwell--but the voice is more fugal, inexact, swirling. In the title story, for instance, a young Irish girl escapes to the insensate London world after her relationship with a much-older painter leads to his death, yet can only really leave through her own death; and the pessimism here is romantic at its core. Elsewhere, too, awful experiences--drug-addiction, the Bangladesh war--are seen as defeats of the spiritual at the hands of the everyday, with sentimental protestations against cruel fate. (In ""Fates,"" there is even a bar-maid with the clichÉd heart of gold.) But when Quinn holds his sentimentality in check, he can be very good indeed. In ""Voyovic,"" immigrant workers in Germany--Gastarbeiten--are presented memorably, a class of the homeless made invisible in modern Europe; one, Voyovic, falls in love, a love that he hurries to exit from via suicide (years of degradation have made him feel a nothing, so how can he love?); and, without abstractions and whirligig language, Quinn makes a very moving story of it, darkness and unsloppy pity evenly paired. So: one truly fine piece--and others which show talent but are blurred by self-conscious writing and overbearing sentiments.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1981
Publisher: Braziller