To read: “Foster” by Claire Keegan in The New Yorker

Early on a Sunday, after first Mass in Clonegal, my father, instead of taking me home, drives deep into Wexford toward the coast, where my mother’s people came from. It is a hot August day, bright, with patches of shade and greenish sudden light along the road. We pass through the village of Shillelagh, where my father lost our red shorthorn in a game of forty-five, and on past the mart in Carnew, where the man who won her sold her not long afterward. My father throws his hat on the passenger seat, winds down the window, and smokes. I shake the plaits out of my hair and lie flat on the back seat, looking up through the rear window. I wonder what it will be like, this place belonging to the Kinsellas. I see a tall woman standing over me, making me drink milk still hot from the cow. I see another, less likely version of her, in an apron, pouring pancake batter into a frying pan, asking would I like another, the way my mother sometimes does when she is in good humor. The man will be her size. He will take me to town on the tractor and buy me red lemonade and crisps. Or he’ll make me clean out sheds and pick stones and pull ragweed and docks out of the fields. I wonder if they live in an old farmhouse or a new bungalow, whether they will have an outhouse or an indoor bathroom, with a toilet and running water.

Read the full short story online: “Foster” by Claire Keegan –

I read this story the other night and it’s haunting me. I want there to be more of it — the story is perfect as it is of course, but I want to spend more time with the characters.

Photo credit: “Ballinesker Beach, Co. Wexford” by Michal Osmenda on Flickr.

4 replies on “To read: “Foster” by Claire Keegan in The New Yorker”

  1. ‘I want there to be more of it’. There is more of it in the full version (not printed in New Yorker).

  2. Hi, thanks for using my photo on your website. The only problem is the photo is copyrighted. I’ve sold use rights to 3rd party companies, so I need to ask you to remove it, before they will.
    Sorry for bothering you with this, but I guess better safe than sorry.
    And thanks for understanding.

  3. Mike, thanks for alerting me to the change in the copyright of the photo.

    I am careful when I use photos from Flickr to always check that the rights for the images allow Creative Commons use. I see that the photo is now marked as “All rights reserved” on Flickr, but I believe that must be changed from what it was when I used this photo in my post.

    If this photo was under a Creative Commons “use with attribution” license when I used it here — and I believe it was, like so many of your other photos on Flickr — then I still have the right to use it even though you’ve changed the license for new users.

    Here’s the relevant FAQ from the Creative Commons website: “What if I change my mind?

    In any case, I wish you the best in your photography work.

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