Judy Berman, Resident Scholar
"The story "CAL" by Bernard Mac Laverty takes place in Northern Ireland (Ulster). The youngIrishman Cal lives alone with his father Shamie (both are Catholics) in a town near Belfast in which mainly Protestants live. Cal's mother died when he was 8 years old.
Life there isn't easy forCal. Additionally, Cal sympathizes with the IRA (= Irish Republican Army). Together with his friends Crilly and Skeffington, who are members of the IRA, too, Cal plans criminal acts. Another problem forhim is being out of work. So he has time enough to visit the library. One day when he's there to borrow a book he sees a woman, Marcella. He falls in love with her and must always think of this woman.Marcella is much older than Cal, she is a widow and has a daughter. Because of being unemployed Shamie offers Cal a little job: he asks him to sell some wood. Cal accepts and so he tries to sell asmuch wood as possible. Cal drives to a farm which belongs to the Mortons. There a woman buys the trees or rather logs and asks him to cut them into smaller pieces.
A bit later the woman turns out tobe Marcella's mother-in-law. The Mortons offer Cal a job on the farm. He has a chance to see Marcella every day! With working on the farm he gets more and more in contact with the Morton family andfalls in love with Marcella. But there is something threatening in the air: Cal took part in the murder of her husband by driving the car for the murderer. Nobody knows this.
Time passes and Cal...