Three and a Half Deaths (UK/Ireland ebook, 2011). An accident, a suicide, an act of criminal negligence and a near-death experience. Published by Picador as a Short Reads ebook in December 2011, bringing together four fact-inspired stories from France, the USA and Canada.
‘What the Driver Saw’ is inspired by a freak accident on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, the 1920s equivalent of Princess Diana’s last ride through Paris.
‘The Trap’ takes us to New York in the 1870s, when a woman at the centre of a public scandal decides she’s had enough.
‘Sissy’, inspired by the discovery of a pioneer coffin in London, Ontario, is about the lingering effects of a death on the living.
‘Fall’ explores an incident at Niagara Falls in 1901 when a middle-aged schoolteacher staked her future on an act so daring it could be called suicidal.
A personal note: Although I wrote this little book, and am delighted by the experiment, I must confess that haven’t read it – because I still do my reading the old-fashioned way, on paper. Three and a Half Deaths brings together four stories that didn’t quite fit into Astray (with its focus on travel) but share the fact-mixed-with-fiction approach of both Astray and The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits.
If you would like to download this collection for what seems like the remarkable price of 99 pence in the UK/Ireland/Commonwealth (excluding Canada), please go to http://www.panmacmillan.com/book/emmadonoghue/threeandahalfdeathsshortreads?format=978144721304801