Another Country: A short story
"The Dead" by James Joyce is one of my favorite pieces of writing to have ever been written. A few years ago I was teaching the story in Ireland and it struck me that many of the issues being explored in the short story are still pertinent in my homeland today. Themes such as the complications of being loyal to your own place in the world, choosing sides, homesickness, and the way a culture can become so immersed in the past that it threatens to impede its own progress. I do not think there is any way to improve upon Joyce's story but I did think it'd be interesting to pick up the story from early 1900s Ireland and move it to contemporary Appalachia, so that's what I did in this story, "Another Country," which was published in Blackbird. Today is the Day of Epiphany, or, Old Christmas. While Joyce's story points to Epiphany several times mine brings up Old Christmas because that is the way the day is thought of in Appalachia still today. I hope you'll have some time of stillness today--or whenever--to read "Another Country," which you can find right here.