“The Pub with No Beer”
by Kevin Barry
from the April 11, 2022 issue of The New Yorker
Oh nice, another favorite is showing up in The New Yorker! Hopefully this means he is working on another story collection to follow up the the three he’s given us so far: There Are Little Kingdoms (2007), Dark Lies the Island (2012), and That Old Country Music (2020). I think I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from him, though it took me some time. The first time I read “Fjord of Hillary,” his first story to show up in The New Yorker, I really didn’t get much from it. I have since reread it and really enjoyed it a lot.
It looks like we are returning to a seaside pub for this one!
He hadn’t noticed the voices at first. In the endless stretch of the afternoon he entered the pub through the side door with a soft hushed aspect as if broaching a place of burial. It was late March by now, the clocks about to change, and the first heat of the year was intimated when he raised the blinds a few inches to allow the sunlight through. He did so as to show the place up. The effect of the light was to insinuate life. The motes of dust in the sunbeams were life. He opened the windows a fraction to freshen the air and looked out—
The bay was filling on a neap tide and the Stags of Broadhaven thrust at the clear white skies in raucous appeal.
I hope you’re all starting April out with some springtime cheer. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on the story below!