Quiet People: the title story (and lengthiest) in this collection, gives a Korean perspective with a projected liaison between Christianity and Buddhism: from the outset Maguire is depicting a global rather than a parochial vision. He is grappling with ‘the reality of the Orient’ as in Nights in the Moon Village not merely trading in the exotic. Prepare for internationalism, some of the locations are far away LA, and thankfully, beyond our much over-trodden back and beyond. Dsyfunctional cinematic narrative post-Orson Welles and Braque comes to mind in his askew gaze through a lens darkly. Only Those Who Have Longed purveys the insight of isolation, on what should have been a day of victory for the protagonist. Macroeconomic Stability: the Downside has an obscure glimpse of cushion parlour life, and Side Dishes a tenser close-up on slightly similar material, where a woman’s moment of insight is in the isolation of a subway between trains. The long-winded traditional Irish short-story is made redundant: there are no thinly disguised yarns of accumulated events, squeezed into a self-serving storyline. The material is ethically utilized, amidst the tyranny and joy of language that is as brittle and delicate as his people, who are themselves fragile beings seeking the solution of mystery without easy resolution.
Kevin Kiely 2008
From Wexford, Jim Maguire lived in Korea between 1985 and 1998. The stories in Quiet People are a reflection of his time there as well as an exploration of the westerner’s struggle to live and be at peace in a culture that reacts strongly on outsiders. Many of the stories have been published in literary journals, including Stand and London Magazine. Since 2003, he has been writing mostly poetry for which he has won a number of prizes, including the RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam (Best Poem) and, in 2007, the Brendan Kennelly Award. Based in Wexford, he works as a tutor on various community arts and adult education programmes.
Source: back cover