Walking Away


This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Walking Away” (2009) by Philip Ó Ceallaigh. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Philip Ó Ceallaigh is an Irish author and translator born in County Clare, Ireland. He is best known for his short story collections, which have been published in both English and Irish Gaelic.

Ó Ceallaigh's writing often explores themes of identity, displacement, and the search for meaning in contemporary Ireland. His prose is elegant, and he is known for his ability to evoke a sense of place and atmosphere in his writing.

In addition to his work as a writer, Ó Ceallaigh is also a translator, having translated works by Irish-language writers into English. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Irish Book Award for Short Story Collection.

Excerpt from the study guide:

However, it is only at the end of the story that we find out that it was the funeral of a very good friend of the man’s and that the man is grieving and depressed because of his loss:

But he was thinking, What foolishness, to speak of beyond, when we hardly know what we have here, on this earth, right before our eyes. This is what he thought, as they went to the graveyard to bury his friend, who had been a rare man, good and generous, and had been open to the future, or so the world had imagined. There was no way to utter what happened in words that would not be hollow ...

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Walking Away

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