A while back, The Short Review did an interview with Kevin Barry where they discussed his short story collection “There are Little Kingdoms,” and ended up with a healthy dose of Barry’s signature wit in the process.
TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?
KB: The thirteen stories in the collection were chosen from maybe thirty in all that I’d written. Sometimes, I tend to write in a bluntly satirical mode, choosing targets the size of barn doors, and while I love these satirical stories dearly, believing them to be touched by comic greatness, they didn’t really fit in with another strain of story I’d been rustling up. These other ones were darker and probably more ‘realistic’, whatever that means (I have lately lost all interest in ‘reality’) and these stories ultimately made up the main meat of the book. Maybe I’ll do an out-and-out satirical collection later on. Arranging an order is tricky. I had music in mind, actually, favourite albums. I was thinking of how a masterpiece like Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is structured: open with a couple of killer tracks, then let it get all lowdown ’n’ weird ’n’ smoky.