Mary Russell
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Short Stories

My short stories have appeared in publications including the London Magazine and the  Phoenix Collection of Irish Short Stories. " That Tears Might Fall" ( see below) won first prize at the Listowel Writers Week. This festival, by the way, is always worth checking out on

Below are a few other short stories you may enjoy reading.

The Balm of Age

A bonfire is like a love affair. You have to feed it gently, a little at a time. Hold back a bit if it flares up. Then wait and see what happens next. Feeding it too much will smother it. So, tease it. Lift it a little. Nurture the point where it catches fire. If it blossoms on one side, shift the whole thing to that side. But watch the wind because that’s a force you’ll have to reckon with. It may come from an unexpected direction and take you by surprise.

Click here to read 'The Balm of Age' in full

The Flag.

Fact and fiction come together in this short story.  You’ll find the genesis in Journeys of a Lifetime, under the chapter:  Once Upon a Time.

The beaky nose, pointed chin and yellowing skin made him look like some sort of ailing Punch. His head lay sunk into the pillow, the wispy hair as white as the pillow case. His eyes were closed but his mouth was slightly open: they had removed his false teeth.

Click here to read 'The Flag' in full

To hear my radio programme about Irish men who fought in the British army, Click here

That Tears Might Fall.

This was inspired by the death of Nigerian writer and political activist Ken Saro Wiwa and won first prize at the Listowel Writers Week.

There are times when I just want to flip over the cover of my notebook, toss it into a garbage bin and walk away. What good does it do, this writing down of other people’s misery? This chronicling of  injustice and rape and killing?

Click here to read 'That Tears Might Fall ' in full

A Small Truth

This story is based on an exchange I witnessed  in East Jerusalem, between a small Palestinian boy and an Israeli soldier.

At 3 in the morning, in Harry’s Bar in Bratislava,  with the disco going full strength, he heard, above the noise, the sound of breaking glass and saw a bouncer placing his foot on the chest of a student who was struggling to get up from the floor.

Click here to read 'A Small Truth' in full

The Music of Silk

I really have no idea where this story has come from. Anyone has any ideas let me know!

Our house is large with draughty landings and windows that rattle on winter days. You can see the sea from upstairs. Some days, it’s flat and blue and stretches out to where the world disappears. Other days, it’s green and roars in towards the beach like an animal that’s going to swallow us all up. When it gets like that, we close the shutters though you can still hear the sound of the waves thumping the sand, sucking at it like someone with no manners.

Click here to read 'The Music of Silk' in full


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