Brian Power


Life
1930- ; b. 18 Aug.; M.A. Sociology, Boston; chaplain to UCD, now priest Sandymount, Dublin; winner of Hennessy award in 1973 for short story “Requiem”; short stories A Land Not Sown (1977), includes novella Two Hundred Greeners told through the eyes of 15 year old slum boy; poetry Hard Berries (1996) and The Past Must Rise (1999). DIL

Works
A Land Not Sown
(Dublin: Egotist 1977), 149pp.; The Wild & Daring Sixties and Other Stories (Enniskerry: Egoist 1980); Hard Berries (Dublin: Bayleaf 1996), 63pp.; The Past Must Rise (Dublin: Bayleaf 1999), 63pp.

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Commentary
Maurice Harmon, ‘First Impressions: 1968-78’, in Terence Brown & Patrick Rafroidi, eds., The Irish Short Story Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1979): ‘Brian Power’s stories focus on two separate but overlapping worlds - the inner-city and the presbytery. The former has its ugly face, of crime, vandalism and deceit; its inhabitants are victims of impoverishment and social deprivation. Power depicts the ugliness in its own idiom and life-style but reveals within it the mysterious operation of goodness. No man is totally bad; within him stir memories of home or of acts of kindness, stirrings of conscience that rise to the surface of his life. The world of the priests is more middle-class, but gullible to the con-men from the inner-city, for here too a generous humanity triumphs. In “Requiem” an old priest, somewhat outdated by the changes introduced by Vatican Two, pays his last respects to his faithful sacristan, feels the nudges of mortality, but is still able to cope with fresh young curates who do not know their place.’ (p.69.)

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