Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sebastian Barry visits Shearer's

Sebastian Barry popped into the shop on Saturday. He signed copies of all his books and, while he had to rush off to a lunch, he made time for a cup of tea and a chat. I told him that one of my friends had impressed upon me her love for Willy Dunne, the main character in A Long Long Way. Her father had fought in the Great War and she thought Barry’s book was a beautiful and awful telling of that war.

‘Well, you guys celebrate the war don’t you,’ he said. ‘I actually wrote that book because we (the Irish) don’t remember or commemorate the war and the men who fought in it. A Long Long Way was a great success in Australia and partly, I think, because it tapped into some feeling of Australian war history. It’s a curious thing,’ he said.

Barry is as considered, poetic and reflective in person as he appears throughout his fiction. It was a pleasure to have him in the store. Here’s the proof!


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