Reviews of The End of the Class War
"While Joe and other Irish American men in the collection appear to run families by fiat or get their way through charm and male privilege, they remain stuck in their jobs, biases and expectations. The women, though weighed down by back-breaking labor, little money and Old World superstitions,. . . seem to flow like liquid through society's cracks, moving past boundaries of class and race. . .
What the hopelessness of poverty does to children has rarely been so beautifully expressed. . .
Women like this mother and Deanna, the pregnant teenager of ‘Chatter,’ see middle-class professional women--social workers, teachers, prosecutors--as part of the larger enemy, one that's going to separate them from their children and keep them impoverished. . . .
The range of Brady's subject matter is astounding. . . .
Many of Catherine Brady's stories have the power to stop readers in mid-sentence, to capture her characters in the specifics of their universe yet free them to explore the fullness of their humanity. She is an astonishing writer, delicate and strong at the same time, her authority and insight as magnificent as her ability to recede and invite on every page."
—Pat Holt, Holt Uncensored
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"Like the family life they depict, these teeming stories have a chaotic surface that masks a traditionally ordered, tightly structured center of belief. The people in Brady's hard world sustain hope in the future and love for one another."
—Floyd Skloot, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Of the 14 stories in this earnest collection, five are about the Daleys, a working-class Chicago family in which the women wrestle with Catholic-girl guilt and the inebriated men issue terse commands. As a group, these stories function almost like chapters in a novel . . . it's when she allows her characters' anger to rise above a simmer that the collection gathers its force. . . the author succeeds in breathing new life into well-worn archetypes."
—Jennifer Berman, The New York Times Book Review
The fourteen interlinked stories in this moving collection are beautifully crafted snapshots of Irish immigrants to American cities (Chicago, San Francisco) in 1950. . . Her short fictions capture critical moments in the lives of the working-class women who absorb shocks, mend, go on. . . The final story presents three generations of women closely perceived, as they battle the cycle of life that is particularly female, burdened, courageous, kind and human."
"Within the first few paragraphs of each of the author's short stories, a character will emerge that makes the reader either yearn for the tale to be longer or smile in recognition of a friend, family member or even one's self. . . In each story, Brady tailors her writing style somewhat to fit the characters, as if the strength of each fictional woman was too much for even the author to ignore. By turns gritty and eloquent, the writing adroitly describes proud and articulate women who deserve to be noticed, much like Brady herself."
—Elizabeth Millard, Foreword
"Whether it be through the tough talk of a truant teen, the bitter diatribe of a lonesome meter maid, or the soft Irish lilt of a spinster aunt's worrisome speech, Brady skillfully reveals the minds of her varied characters. . . Her prose itself possesses a powerful subtlety; sufficiently sentimental but not overly so, its emotional poignancy creeps up and ambushes you with the strength of its authenticity. Thoughtful and grounded, Brady's sensuous descriptions intertwine with comical ones, coalescing into tales of real women living real lives. . . the collection abounds with women whose humor, intelligence, compassion, and determination make their stories compelling reading."
—Kyla Jones, Rain Taxi