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Claire-Louise Bennett
Claire-Louise Bennett grew up in Wiltshire and studied literature and drama at the University of Roehampton, before settling in Galway. Her short fiction and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, The Penny Dreadful, The Moth, Colony, The Irish Times, The White Review and gorse. She was awarded the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize in 2013 and has received bursaries from the Arts Council and Galway City Council. Her debut novel, Pondwas published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2015 and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2016. Her second novel, Checkout 19, is published by Jonathan Cape in August 2021.

Articles Available Online


The Russian Man

Fiction

Issue No. 27

Claire-Louise Bennett

Fiction

Issue No. 27

Many years ago a large Russian man with the longest tendrils of the softest white hair came to live in the fastest growing town...

poetry

Issue No. 13

Morning, Noon & Night

Claire-Louise Bennett

poetry

Issue No. 13

Sometimes a banana with coffee is nice. It ought not to be too ripe – in fact there should...

‘I’m deeply suspicious of the idea that people or characters can suddenly undergo deep and genuine change, or that radical change and true epiphanies are common,’ Jamel Brinkley told an interviewer last summer, when his debut short story collection, A LUCKY MAN, was published in the United States ‘But’, he continued, ‘I am completely faithful to the idea that there are moments when we can be profoundly shaken’ In these nine memorable stories Brinkley shakes each of his main characters in turn, and we, as we read, are shaken too   That shaking often has its roots in sex, an act that typically plays out very differently in the minds of Brinkley’s characters than in reality In the opening story, ‘No More Than a Bubble’, two men walk a pair of women home from a house party At the party the men, second-year student gatecrashers surrounded by recent graduates, are convinced they are looking through a window into ‘the next phase of life’, where the booze and weed are more potent, and the women wear ‘better, tinier underwear than the girls we knew’   After a long, strange night, the foursome finally ‘arrive at sex’ (the verb conveys the dogged, low-speed pursuit the men have enacted in order to reach this destination), but not in the way the men wanted The women make them undress first, and insist they regard each other’s nakedness ‘There’s always more to what you want than what you wanted’, one of the women says, but this shared experience doesn’t draw the two friends together; it drives them apart They are too wrapped up in their roles as young black men (‘We both preferred girls of a certain plumpness, with curves – in part, I think, because that’s what black guys are supposed to like’) to even consider a thought so radical, for them at least, as enjoying, or even acknowledging in any intimate sense, another male body Yet the sense lingers that their disgust is at least partly alloyed with desire   Throughout the story these men wear a series of masks, and depictions of black masculinity as a performative

Contributor

August 2014

Claire-Louise Bennett

Contributor

August 2014

Claire-Louise Bennett grew up in Wiltshire and studied literature and drama at the University of Roehampton, before settling in...

The Lady of the House

fiction

Issue No. 8

Claire-Louise Bennett

fiction

Issue No. 8

Wow it’s so still. Isn’t it eerie. Oh yes. So calm. Everything’s still. That’s right. Look at the rowers – look at how fast...

READ NEXT

fiction

January 2014

Leg over Leg

Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq

TR. Humphrey Davies

fiction

January 2014

First published in 1855, Leg over Leg recounts the life, from birth to middle age, of ‘the Fāriyāq,’ alter ego of...

poetry

Issue No. 13

Watermen

Holly Pester

poetry

Issue No. 13

It’s Saturday and two men arrive at the door in the uniform. Thames Water. We’re checking the whole street,...

Interview

January 2017

Interview with Barbara T. Smith

Ciara Moloney

Interview

January 2017

Californian artist Barbara T. Smith (b. 1931) is something of a performance art legend. It was in the 1960s...

 

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