This debut story collection depicts a wide range of compelling characters and their worlds: a hermaphrodite falling in love, a veteran Marine’s “piercing” attempt to cope with PTSD, preparations for the anticipated destruction of a hurricane, aging and the aftermath of breast cancer, immigrants fleeing famine, a mother’s worst fear, and the mystifications of love versus simple desire. As a tone painting, as well as an artwork painted with words, the final story “Galatea” offers a mind-bending, multimedia experience of the complex relationship between two artists and the workings of their minds. The book is not a linked story collection, yet some settings, subjects, phrases, styles, and themes weave throughout the collection, bringing to each stand-alone story a broad resonance and perspective.
About the Author
Roisin McLean writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She received her B.A. in English (both Writing & Editing, and Language & Literature) from The Pennsylvania State University, and received her MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize and was a semifinalist for The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction (Nimrod/Hardman).
McLean’s fiction (under various pen names) appears in or has been accepted for publication by Perigee: Publication for the Arts, Fiction Week Literary Review, Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts, Pithead Chapel, and the FDU MFA Alumni Anthology, Inaugural Issue (forthcoming). Her creative nonfiction appears in Winter Tales II: Women on the Art of Aging, in OH SANDY! A Humorous Anthology with a Serious Purpose (all profits of which benefit survivors of Hurricane Sandy), and in Runnin’ Around: The Serving House Book of Infidelity. Her interviews with ex-pat author Thomas E. Kennedy appear in The McNeese Review and Ecotone.
McLean worked as Managing Editor for Macmillan Publishing Company and in hands-on book production for other publishing houses, both on staff and freelance, for over thirty years. She currently writes, revises, updates homes, and serves as Associate Editor for Serving House Books.
“Roisin McLean’s The Fifth Eye [is] an illuminating story collection displaying a dazzling, virtuoso style of writing full of unique images and observations that are at times not only gorgeously humorous but also ironically crushing.”
—Duff Brenna, author of Too Cool and The Holy Book of the Beard
“Compassionate portrayals of a wide range of characters … All are frail. Yet, no matter how broken or afraid, they never lose sight of, never lose hope in, the potential healing power of love. At times brisk and gutsy, at times contemplative, the language is wonderfully honed, and the details fascinate.”
—David R. Poe, author of French Kisses
“McLean works with the precision of a diamond cutter, slicing and polishing until each facet of her stories sparkles and glows. … McLean does it all flawlessly, presenting us with burnished gems.”
—Ken Wisman, author of Stone’s Throw, Frost on the Window, and Fourteen Fantasies from a Shop Called Imagination