Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our February Author: Louise Dean

This Human SeasonOur February author, Louise Dean (This Human Season) has her own website and here's a BBC profile. Bookbrowse has an interview,

How did you research The Human Season? Did you meet any resistance?
Over a year, a week a month in Belfast. 500 hours of taped interviews from all sides. Protestant, catholic, terrorist, mother, priest, child, prisoner, prison officers, you name it. Some prison officers were terrified of being tracked down. Most of the former terrorists were keen to tell, even if they pretended otherwise. You have to stay angry to stay alive when you've killed.
And the Guardian,
The cadences of Northern Irish speech are vivid, not just in the dialogue but, subtly, in the body of the prose, and Kathleen, in particular, is a triumph of a character. You might expect Dean to have few difficulties in articulating the feelings of a mother for her children; more startling, perhaps, is the empathy with which she creates the inner life of Dunn, a man of principle but limited education now living under the shadow of retaliatory attacks from the IRA. 'I showed drafts of the book to some of the people I'd interviewed and become close to so that they could point out any inconsistencies,' Dean says, 'and perhaps the greatest compliment I've ever had was for one of the Catholic women to say she'd never seen it from the officers' point of view until she read the book.'
Speaking of research, one of our Esteemed Readers passed on the Wikipedia link on Maze Prison and I found this BBC timeline helpful. Some lyrics to some prison songs can be found here. I know I felt a larger glossary for the book wouldn't have hurt and Esteemed Blogger Joyce came to my rescue with this.

For some very recent news about how the reconciliation is going in Northern Ireland check out these posts at Chasing The Flame and Talking Rights.
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