Ireland is known throughout the world for its rich and vibrant storytelling. Josie Gray is a proud inheritor of this tradition, a yarn-spinner whose evocative and authentic stories are steeped in the rural west of Ireland community to which he belongs.
Beautifully crafted, subtly paced, and richly textured, Gray's stories vividly and affectionately bring to life a disparate castoff characters and recreate the fabric of their everyday lives. Disputes, laughter, courting, death, drink and general all-round skullduggery are the other of the day as Gray skillfully weaves together myth and fact, truth and near-truth.
Captivated by these tales, acclaimed poet Tess Gallagher worked with Gray to give his oral stories written form. The result is a stunning collection that preserves the intimacy, melody and rhythm of Gray's voice.
Beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned linocuts, Barnacle Soup is a lyrical feast for all those who love hearing and reading stories.
JOSIE GRAY was born on the shores of Lough Arrow and has lived in counties Waterford, Wexford and Sligo. He has worked as a fruit salesman, barman, farmer and rate collector, and in various family businesses, hauling turf, fruit, sand and gravel. He started painting in the mid-1990s and has exhibited in Ireland and the US. In his retirement he fishes, gardens, paints and tells the odd story. TESS GALLAGHER, poet, essayist, short-story and screen writer, was born in Washington State. She has published many distinguished collections of poetry, including Dear Ghosts in 2007 and Midnight Lantern, which will be released on October 1, 2011. She was encouraged by her late husband, Raymond Carver, to write short stories, which were published in The Lover of Horses (1986) and At the Owl Woman Saloon (1996), and a new volume of selected stories entitled The Man from Kinvara.