A very happy publication day to Fergal Keane, whose new work of non-fiction is available now from William Collins.
Wounds is a family story of blood and memory and the haunting power of the past.
After nearly three decades reporting conflict from all over the world for the BBC, Fergal Keane has gone home to Ireland to tell a story that lies at the root of his fascination with war. It is a family story of war and love, and how the ghosts of the past return to shape the present.
Wounds is a powerful memoir about Irish people who found themselves caught up in the revolution that followed the 1916 Rising, and in the pitiless violence of civil war in north Kerry after the British left in 1922.
It is the story of Keane’s grandmother Hannah Purtill, her brother Mick and his friend Con Brosnan, and how they and their neighbours took up guns to fight the British Empire and create an independent Ireland. And it is the story of another Irishman, Tobias O’Sullivan, who fought against them as a policeman because he believed it was his duty to uphold the law of his country.
Many thousands of people took part in the War of Independence and the Civil War that followed. Whatever side they chose, all were changed in some way by the costs of violence. Keane uses the experiences of his ancestral homeland in north Kerry to examine why people will kill for a cause and how the act of killing reverberates through the generations.
Praise for Wounds:
‘His book is a memoir but it is so much more than that…a volume of the most exquisitely written and moving truth and honesty.’ TLS
'A profoundly tragic book by an eminent humanitarian…Fergal Keane is not a man for triumphalism…he is really writing a passionate elegy for all battles…it is a noble book that Keane has written…its grandeur lies in its essential vision – decent forgiving, pitying and always regretful’ Jan Morris, The Times
‘Fergal Keane operates masterfully…I found myself, on one or two pages towards the close, caught in a choking emotion…the evidence is meticulously gathered and the writing so powerful that it turns a book about a battle into a book about human beings, their existence, their end’ Guardian
‘In his sweeping account of the battle in Kohima in 1944, Fergal Keane does justice to the memory of the men who fell and who survived…a vivid account which brings to life the brutality of that war…an engrossing narrative of ghastly battle’ Independent
'Along with his war correspondent’s feel for action, Keane brings to the task an eye for detail and a gift for describing what it is like to be in a battle at the lowest level…Road of Bones” captures this superlatively’ Literary Review
Buy a copy today, here.