The Worship of Storms
“I like very much this younger man from Dublin, who heads toward the table with two brimming pints. He would never slip me a mickey, I know this somehow. He has the look that Derdriu desired, when she saw a raven drinking the blood of a skinned calf in the snow. I want a man, she said, with hair like the raven, cheeks like blood, and his body like snow. She would be ill until she saw him. Seamus. I feel a sorrowful euphoria, as he moves closer, possessing all that Hibernian beauty. Every cell within me shimmers with recognition: I’ve found him.”
THE WORSHIP OF STORMS is a novel about women, love, assault, and myth. Maggie risks the deepest exposure for the sake of art.
Maggie’s just completed a difficult year in an MFA program in New York City. She’s been gaslighted by her professor, shunned by her fellow grad students, and feels paralyzed, unable to shoot any more photos without hearing the critical voices of her peers and professors. Given this, she’s surprised to learn that she’s won a travel grant, and uses it to meet her best friend, KATE CLEARY, who’s just coming out as a lesbian, in Galway.
After a harrowing evening with a sexual predator, Maggie falls in love with Seamus O'Dea. Their tender and honest connection is unlike anything she’s experienced before. The affair culminates in a car accident, which separates the two lovers. Alone and healing from a concussion in her cousins’ country home, Maggie begins taking half-nude self-portraits in the Irish landscape that push the boundaries of any work she's produced before. Though the affair with Seamus ends, Maggie emerges a changed woman with a unique artistic vision, what the Village Voice calls her Punk Pastoral.
“Something collapses inside of me. My hands fly up and then settle around the cool grainy body of my Nikon. I step out from the side of the house and begin to shoot. I square their bodies in the viewfinder, as his father rears back and punches Rory in the jaw. He shouts blasphemies in his face. I press the shutter release so hard, so fast, my fingers and even my arms are shaking. It feels as if I’m rattling off bullets from a machine gun.”