When the present collection appeared the same people dismissed the story as part of the pornographic hack work which, according to his wife Beatrice, the semi-destitute Behan was writing in Paris after the war and not in any way autobiographical. Whatever the case may be we’re fortunate to have the story.
After the Wake does seem to treat of the subject of gay love and the overall tone is very low-key and unusually guarded for a writer like Behan,. But, risqué subject matter aside, and whatever its provenance, it stands apart from all the other stories in the book and is the best by a long way.
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