All The Lonely People: The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore (1955) and The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien (1960)

Until 1972, the Catholic Church held a constitutionally protected “special position” in Ireland.  Thank goodness.  Had it not been for the convent schools and Magdalene Laundries, literature and art would have been much the poorer. At first blush, Judith Hearne and Caithleen Brady, the protagonists of The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Hearne […]

What To Take To A Holocaust

Let me start with a disclaimer.  I have relatives who have been avid obituary readers.  I’m not among them.  Maybe if you’re Jerry Lewis or Glenn Campbell I’ll indulge in the last celebration of your life.  But if you don’t warrant a full newspaper page, I’ve no time to spare for your death.  Life’s too […]

History Behind The Book: The 1965 Indonesian Massacres

I’m happily reading Black Water by Louise Doughty when I come across cryptic references to monumental events occurring in Indonesia in 1965 and 1998.  Huh? Well, the United States government knew what was going on in 1965.  So did the Australian and British governments.  The CIA, in fact, helped engineer the entire thing.  Don’t blame […]