Foster (short story)

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Foster (Claire Keegan).jpg
Author Claire Keegan
Country Ireland
Language English
Genre short story/novella
Set in County Wexford, summer 1981
Publisher The New Yorker (short version)
Faber and Faber
Publication date
10 February 2010 (short)
September 2010
Media type Print: paperback
Pages 88
Awards Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award
ISBN 9780571255658
Preceded by Walk the Blue Fields

"Foster" is a short story or novella by Irish author Claire Keegan.[1][2]


1981 County Wexford, Ireland. A girl is sent to live with foster parents on a farm, while her mother gives birth. She has no notion of when she will return home. In the strangers' house she finds affection she has not known before, and slowly she begins to blossom in their care. But when a secret is suddenly revealed, she realizes how fragile her idyll is.[3]


"Foster" has received a very positive reception, winning the 2009 Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award (it was submitted for the award prior to publication).[4][5][6][7] The Daily Telegraph compared it to the work of Seamus Heaney and William Trevor, while The Observer called it "Among the finest stories written recently in English."[8][8] It is now on the English syllabus for the Leaving Certificate Examination.[9]


An audio version of "Foster" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's "Afternoon Reading" on 9 March 2015, read by Irish actress Evanna Lynch.[10]