Val Mulkerns

Life
1925- [Valentine Mulkerns] b. Dublin; ed. Dominican College; worked as a civil servant, 1945-49; contrib. a story, “Girls”, to The Bell, 1947, and later served as assoc. literary editor in the 1950s; issued the novels A Time Outworn (1951) and A Peacock Cry (1954); her later works, after an intermission, and deemed far superior, incl. issued Antiquities (1978) depicts three generations of the Mullen family between the Anglo-Irish War, in which the grandfather played a part, and modern times when a grand-daughter stays in Paris; also An Idle Woman and Other Stories (1980), dealing with the public and private life in Ireland; The Summerhouse (1984) is a study of small-town family and winner of the Allied Banks Literary Award, 1984; issued Very Like a Whale (1986), which charts the altered Dublin scene that greets a young man returning to Dublin; also A Friend of Don Juan (1988), stories; she settled in the West of Ireland but later lived [or stayed?] at Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin. OCIL

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Works
Fiction, Time Outworn ((London: Chatto & Windus 1951), 252pp.; A Peacock’s Cry (London: Hodder & Stoughton 1954), 222pp.; A Friend of Don Juan (London: Murray 1979), 197pp.; The Summerhouse (London: Murray 1984), 138pp.; Very Like a Whale (London: Murray 1986), and Do. [new edn.] (London: Futura 1987), 192pp.

Short fiction, Antiquities: A Series of Short Stories (London: Deutsch 1978), 134pp.; An Idle Woman and Other Stories (Swords: Poolbeg Press 1980), 144pp. [see contents].

Miscellaneous, intro. to Emily Lawless, Hurrish: A Study [1886] (Belfast: Appletree Press 1992), x, 196pp.; trans., ‘Farewell Friends’, in Padraic Ó Conaire, 15 Short Stories (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1982); ed., New Writings from the West (: Mayo County Council [1988]), 71pp.

Contribs [incl.] “Girls”, The Bell, Vol. XIV, No. 4 (July 1947), pp.46-57; letter to Irish Times (1 Dec. 1997; regarding attempted censure of Francis Stuart; addressed Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin).

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Bibliographical details
An Idle Woman and Other Stories (Swords: Poolbeg Press 1980), 144pp. [“An idle woman”; “Away from it all”; “Humanae vitae”; “You must be joking”; “Still life”; “The birthday party”; “Phone you some time”; “Home for Christmas”; “The open house”; “Memory and desire”.]

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Commentary
James Cahalan
, The Irish Novel (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1988) gives notices on The Summerhouse (1984) and Very Like a Whale (1986), remarking that she writes on the Catholic Big House; like Molly Keane, she served as an editor of The Bell in the 1950s.

See also of Michael L. Storey’s Representing the Troubles in Irish Short Fiction (2004), which treats of her story “The Torch”.

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References
Desmond Clarke, Ireland in Fiction [Pt II] (Cork: Royal Carbery 1985), lists a Time Outworn [q.d.] ; A Peacock’s Cry (1954).

Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985) adds, A Friend of Don Juan (1979); An Idle Woman (1980); The Summerhouse (1984), and Very Like a Whale (London: Jonathan Cape 1986).

Seamus Deane , gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, selects Antiquities: A Sequence of Short Stories, “A Bitch and a Dog Hanging” [989-93; BIOG 1133.

Belfast Central Library (1956) holds A Time Outworn (1951) [comm, also post-1956 Cat.]

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Notes
Namesame: Valentine Mulkern (Corporal), from Poplar, and James Coyne (Private), a 38 year-old from Dublin, were killed late on 11 March 1915. Both men are buried in Ferme Buterne Military Cemetery. (See St. Andrew's College, Canada - website > F. S. Andrews [search this page], being an alumnus who joined the Leinster Fusiliers in World War I and died in France.) Mulkern is also cited as a dedicatee of the webpage on the Leinsters at The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in Great War website - online.

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