Midwife to the Fairies: Selected Stories

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Diversity is a signal feature of Eilis Ni Dhuibhne's multifaceted career. She has produced work variously as a folklorist, dramatist, short story writer, novelist, editor, literary historian and - under the pseudonym, Elizabeth O'Hara- children's author. Moreover, a further dimension of her creative output is the fact that she writes in Irish and has composed both plays and fiction in that language. This compilation serves a double purpose: it revives much of Ni Dhuibhne's significant, early work and it also includes fresh examples of her artistry. It gathers together stories from her first two collections, Blood and Water and Eating Women is not Recommended, published by Attic Press in 1988 and 1991, thus retrieving them from that banishment that often befalls the initial ventures of a writer. Framing these earlier pieces, are three recent fictions: 'Wuff Wuff Wuff for De Valera!' , commissioned for Loose Horses, an innovative community project sponsored by South Dublin County Council, which was distributed free of charge in pamphlet-form to libraries, public bodies and even hairdressers; 'The Master Key' which appeared in Ladies' Night at Finbar's Hotel, a collaborative collection of stories by Irish women writers, employing a common setting and scenario; and 'Peacocks', a new, previously unpublished work. This volume hence at once furnishes a retrospective on Ni Dhuibhne's achievement to date and tracks the development of an ever-evolving aesthetic and authorial sensibility.