Updates

It’s in extraordinary situations that you really find what people are made of

Friday, 7 September 2018

Noel Adams, a journalist with Belfast’s best newspaper, The Irish News, did an interview with me at the beginning of August, which has just now been published. It’s about life, war, humanitarian response and the writing of The Undiscovered Country. I probably rambled a bit - I was doing the interview on a bad phone line from the bowels of the UN in New York. But I hope you enjoy.

https://www.irishnews…

First review is in...

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

I mentioned a few updates ago that a few people have actually read The Undiscovered Country, and it was, in the main, their encouragement that led me to embark on this publication project. So I thought rather than just have me write about the book in these updates I would ask a few of them to compose reviews of the book to share their thoughts. Kind people that they are most of them didn't even need…

I bet that Plato fella never had these problems...

Sunday, 15 July 2018

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Tantalus was a figure in Greek mythology who, starving and thirsty, was cursed to stand for eternity in water that would recede from his lips when he bent to drink from it, and beneath a berry tree that would withdraw from his grasp when he reached for food.

Greek mythology is full of chaps like that – Odysseus blown back out to sea to continue his wanderings for years more just as he sees the…

Human is wolf to human, but not always

Friday, 15 June 2018

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Yangon, Myanmar

June 2018

Last month I was in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (photo), in the camps of that are now home to almost three-quarters of a million Rohingya refugees, driven from their homes by the government of their own country. Those camps will now, due to the monsoon rains, look like a First World War battlefield, a quagmire of mud in which people have already died

But…

Appositely enough, Karma is an Indian word

Friday, 8 June 2018

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My PhD supervisors once advised me to set aside my thesis for a couple of months and then to reread it. It would be like looking at it with new eyes. 

So, because this week I have passed the 82% funding level and hopefully will very soon be able to share this story with you, I have been going over The Undiscovered Country again, for the first time in several months. I’m trying to catch typos…

Hold on! I have a cunning plan!

Friday, 25 May 2018

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Some of the fellows I was at school with I haven’t seen in over 30 years. Yet they’ve been among the first to get their credit cards out to subscribe to the publication of my book, The Undiscovered Country. Adolescence is one of the most miserable times of your life. But the bonds that arise from enduring it together, in our case in the shadow of British Military Occupation securing a “hard” border…

Approaching anniversaries: The Undiscovered Country

Monday, 21 May 2018

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I went to see Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars a few weeks ago. It was the celebrated 2016 Abbey Theatre production which got a belated transfer from Dublin to London.

O’Casey wrote the play to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1916 rebellion. It caused a storm. After one particularly rambunctious performance WB Yeats, a co-founder of the Abbey, confronted a disruptive audience…

Getting there: The Undiscovered Country reaches 70% funding

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Dear All

I just wanted to send you all a note to say that I’ve reached the next big milestone on the road to publication of The Undiscovered Country, and finally passed the 70% threshold. Lore in Unbound, as I’ve mentioned before, is that all books which pass this threshold get published, which is enormously encouraging, but still a little way to go before we see it coming hot off the presses.…

Belfast: what was once, might be again

Thursday, 26 April 2018

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Last week I visited Belfast to speak at an event commemorating Belfast’s role in the anti-slavery struggle of the 19th Century. It was a memorable visit for a number of reasons. 

The event, organised by Reclaim the Englightenment, a group set up to remember Belfast’s radical heritage, was held in the Shankill Public Library. It was the first occasion I ever spent any time in this, the heart…

Easter reflections on The Undiscovered Country

Monday, 2 April 2018

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Dear Friends

This week I’ve been reflecting on Easters past. 

Easter Week 1916 was the beginning of the Irish War of Independence. Historians still argue over how necessary or justifiable that war was to achieve Irish independence. But whatever the rights and wrongs of it in the grand, historical scheme of things, at the most basic level  it followed a bloody path of ordinary people doing…

The book they don’t want you to read: The Undiscovered Country

Sunday, 18 March 2018

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Memo found in the archives of the Irish Bureau of Military History :

To: Colonel Dan Long

Officer in Charge,

Bureau of Military History,

Cathal Brugha Barracks

Dublin

4 Sept 1954

 

Highly Confidential

Please find attached the portion of former Volunteer Michael Gerard McAlinden’s submission to the Bureau that I mentioned to you, the…

The Undiscovered Country: Half way there!

Monday, 5 March 2018

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So, after a long, sometimes gruelling, month in Myanmar/Burma I’m back in London and delighted that The Undiscovered Country has just passed the 50% funding milestone en route to the publication.

One hundred thousand thanks to all of you whose incredible generosity and support has got me this far. I am looking forward to sharing the finished novel with you all, sooner, I hope, rather than later…

Discovering other countries

Friday, 2 February 2018

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“Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart” - W B Yeats, Easter 1916

This past few weeks I have been travelling through some parts of the world affected by more recent and bloodier conflicts than the one I describe in The Undiscovered Country. And yet here the truth that Yeats recognised when reflecting upon the oppression and violence…

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