Modern Ireland and modern Irish crime writers: A St. Patrick's Day post
Ratlines. (And it appears that Declan Burke may do so as well, in his latest.) And Eoin McNamee wrote about the chilling sectarian hatred at the heart of one of Belfast's most notorious murder gangs in his novel Resurrection Man.
I've just finished reading Part IV of R.F. "Roy" Foster's Modern Ireland 1600-1972, and I was periodically surprised and delighted when his entertaining, opinionated, analytical, non-ax-grinding history would touch upon subjects dealt with in some depth by each of the above-mentioned Irish crime writers. Foster's declaration, for example, that
"For all the rhetoric of anti-Partitionism, opinion in the Republic was covertly realistic about this point, too: the predominant note of modern Ireland in 1972 was that of looking after its own."says in historical terms what Downey does in fictional ones, and induces a similar twinge of sympathy for Northern Ireland's people, if not its leaders.
So thanks, Irish crime writers, for writing entertaining popular fiction while casting an intelligent eye on the problematic present and past of your problematic country.
"There are few first-rate biographies for the period, one glowing exception being R. Dudley Edwards' Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure, which illuminates far more than its subject."Looking for more? Edwards, Downey, McNamee, and Brennan contributed stories to Akashic Books' Belfast Noir collection, edited by McKinty and Neville.
© Peter Rozovsky 2014
Labels: Adrian McKinty, Belfast Noir, Declan Burke, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Gerard Brennan, history, Ireland, Irish history, Kevin McCarthy, Northern Ireland, R.F. Foster, Roy Foster, Stuart Neville