‘I’m too invested in signs, coincidences, and secrets. Helen’s life and death can tell me nothing of how to live my own. I have never known how it feels to want a child. I have closed my eyes and tried to imagine, but I see only stars behind my eyelids, feel my palms warm on the small mound of my belly.’
In the autumn issue of the Dublin Review, Helen Chandler tells two stories of motherhood. Her aunt – a natural, joyous mother – went through a pair of horrific traumas in the effort to extend her family. Helen herself is torn between conflicting impulses and instincts regarding a decision – whether or not to reproduce – that is surrounded by an ever-intensifying volume of contradictory cultural messages. ‘No Fit State’ is a brilliantly visceral and thoughtful essay about the weightiest decision most people will ever make, and one that can tear at one’s very sense of self.
Also in the autumn Dublin Review, Laurence O’Dwyer writes about his experiences as an ultra-runner and the neurological factors that make some people find pleasure in a sport that involves hour after hour of pain. Dean Fee recalls a strange childhood interlude in a chilly house with his father and brother. Also, short stories by Danny Denton, Dearbhaile Houston, Ronan Kelly, Richard Lea and Jona Xhepa.