Monday 1 July 2019

#BlogBlitz Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney

Today it's the last day of the BlogBlitz Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney. It's literary fiction come short fiction.
About the Author
Ian Maleney is a writer based in Dublin. Born and raised in Co Offaly, he works as a freelance arts journalist and as an online editor at Stinging Fly. He is the founder of Fallow Media, an interdisciplinary journal for music, photography, and long form writing on the internet. Minor Monuments is his debut.

Follow @IanMaleney on Twitter, on Goodreads

About the book
Minor Monuments is a collection of essays about family, memory, and music. Mostly set in rural Irish midlands, on a small family farm not far from the river Shannon. The book tracks the final years of Maleney’s grandfather’s life, and looks at his experience with Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as the experiences of the people closest to him.

Using his grandfather’s memory loss as a spur, the essays ask what it means to call a place home, how we establish ourselves in a place, and how we record our experiences of a place.

The nature of familial and social bonds, the way a relationship is altered by observing and recording it, the influence of tradition and history, the question of belonging – these are the questions which come up again and again.

Using episodes from his own life, and drawing on the works of artists like Pat Collins, Seamus Heaney, John Berger, and Brian Eno, Maleney examines how certain ways of listening and looking might bring us closer to each other, or keep us apart.

What is it the binds us to others and to ourselves? If we can no longer remember, then how can remember who we are? Once we leave the house we call home, are we ever truly able to return to that place - that we have recreated in our imagination?

Minor Monuments is a thought provoking and quietly devastating meditation on family, and how even the smallest story is no minor event.

This is a series of essays, twelve to be exact, on the topic of Maleney and his grandfather, more specifically the decline of the latter due to Alzheimer's Disease. There are also essays that focus on capturing the sound of silence or the difference in types of silences. This also includes descriptive passages on nature and the surrounding areas.

The result is similar to a series of Kodak pictures capturing moments in time. Moments which show the tragic effect of the disease on John Joe and the rest of the family. Moments spent trying to hear, tape and box up the sounds of silence, which sounds like a bizarre thing, but I get where the author is going with it. If you think about it there is hardly ever such a thing as complete silence.

How life is disrupted and interrupted by secondary noise, be it human or otherwise. In a way it reflects the experience of life itself - one second at a time. Noise or lack of it becomes synonymous with human interaction. Emotions, words, memories, verbal and non-verbal communication. Everything blends together to become one whole.

In essence it's a gathering of small stories or essays, which could be a novel, if presented slightly differently. As it is the presentation gives it a more literary feel. Somewhere between short stories and flash fiction.

It's literary fiction come short fiction. Essays written in a way that implies separation, and yet upon a closer look there is a consistent thread throughout that shows connection.

Buy Minor Monuments at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Tramp Press in Paperback 28th March 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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