BALLINASLOE-BASED author Nuala O’Connor has won the prestigious UK-based Short Fiction Prize for her story ‘Gooseen’, about Galway woman Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce.
‘Gooseen’, which is narrated in Nora Barnacle’s voice, relates the first four months of Nora’s relationship with Joyce which culminated in their emigration to Trieste. It was chosen from a shortlist of seven stories. Competition judge Ríona McCormack chose Ms O'Connor’s story for its "freshness, its stunning use of language, and its warm, beating humanity…There is a finely-balanced weighting here between the raunchy, delicious beginnings of a love affair, and the more poignant aspects of Nora’s inner life".
Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, will be published in the USA and Canada in August, and Ireland, Britain, and Australia in September, follows the fortunes of another historic Galway-based woman, Belle Bilton, a music hall actress, who became an Irish countess. It is set in Victorian London and Ballinasloe.