Writing didn’t come onto Mary’s radar until she was 22. “I was a primary school teacher. I was happy, but I went through a period of insomnia. One night I realised what was wrong. I wanted to write.” Mary joined a local creative writing class, and the following year she went to Listowel Writer’s Week. “That opened up a whole new world,” she says. “I discovered the short story, and started reading American writers.”
Her first two stories were published in New Irish Writing. Then she married — it lasted ten years — and the writing waned. “I had a love/hate relationship with writing. I wanted to give it up, but it kept pulling at me.”
Who is Mary Costello?
Date of birth: Born and grew up in County Galway. She’s in her forties.
Education: School in Mountbellew, County Galway. St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. “And I’ve taken Jungian studies.”
The Day Job: On a career break from teaching.
Interests: Books; music; films and animals.
Favourite Writers: Alice Munroe; JM Coetzee; Claire Keegan; James Salter: Ted Hughes.
Second Novel: I’m working on more stories, and on a novel.
Top Writing Tip: Write whatever is most urgent and pressing.
The China Factory. The Stinging Fly Press, €12.99; Kindle, not available.
These exquisite short stories examine the passions of everyday life. They cover love, loss, betrayal and longing. Amazingly insightful, there are uplifting incidents and moments of devastation. The work has been shortlisted for Irish Book Awards and long listed for Guardian First Book Award.
“My 12 stories are about ordinary men and women whose lives are suddenly disturbed by some change or simply by chance,” says Mary. “The protagonists are trying to decipher their lives and recalibrate them after these inner eruptions. They’re trying to clarify reality.”
The Verdict: I was profoundly moved by this wonderful collection. Mary Costello has extraordinary talent.
A man who appeared to provide sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake", the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said.
The troika is leaving Ireland with business unfinished, including changes to the medical and legal service, but they will be pursued through the new EU governance to which all eurozone countries are now subject.
The ECB could be forced to introduce another long- term refinancing operation and drag the deposit rate into a negative territory to cushion the region from another year of sluggish growth and the uncertainty caused by the comprehensive assessment of the banks, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 economic outlook.
IT'S one of the most iconic features on the Cork skyline. First established as a monastic site in 606 AD, St Fin Barre's Cathedral now houses a French neo-gothic cathedral designed in 1862 by William Burges of London.
MYTHS are the stories that groups tell themselves: the beautiful lies that allow life go on. This is a week of great myth making. In the death and interment of Nelson Mandela we are witnessing modern myth being made in front of our eyes. But myths can be pernicious and evil — corroding life as well as enhancing it.
Tipperary native Brian Lonergan fulfilled a long-standing ambition when his tricolour appeared on live TV during Sunday's NFL clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.
THE scandal at the Central Remedial Clinic is a gift to the Government. Here we have an organisation seemingly plundering charitable funds, to feather the nests of a group of Fianna Fáil insiders, all of whom can be linked easily to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.