The Gay Southland (J.G. Hayes, This Thing Called Courage: South Boston Stories)
Department of Literature and Modern Languages
Irish Literary Supplement
This collection of short stories by a young Boston-based writer presents an exciting yet often disturbing view of life in that city, particularly in the rough-and-tumble world of Irish South Boston (“Southie”) and its more affluent neighboring areas, such as the gentrified South End. Primarily gay coming-of-age stories, the seven tales range from the humorous to the grotesque, often using magical realism and the supernatural as a way of mediating the internal and external conflicts experienced by the central characters. They frequently draw from the tradition of oral storytelling, as the author points out in his Acknowledgments. At times reminiscent of Patrick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy or an Irving Welsh novel, at their best the stories become compelling reading.
Doan, J. E. (2004). The Gay Southland (J.G. Hayes, This Thing Called Courage: South Boston Stories). Irish Literary Supplement, 23 (1), 8-8. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/shss_facarticles/458