From the author of The Speckled People, one of the most lyrical and powerful memoirs of recent times, comes an exploration of another crucial moment in his early life: the summer he spent working at a harbor close to his home in Dublin, at a time of tremendous unrest.
As a boy, Hugo Hamilton felt a strong desire "to have no past behind me," to be rid of the confused identity he had inherited from his German mother and Irish father, and to cut the tether that connected him to their collective memory. But listening to stories of his mother's shame at the hands of Allied soldiers in the aftermath of the Second World War, along with his German cousin's mysterious disappearance somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, he felt the strengthening of history's determined grip.
A job at the harbor, rather than offering him respite, entangled him in a bitter feud between two fishermen—one Catholic, one Protestant. Against the background of the spiraling troubles in the North, Hugo listened to the missing persons bulletins going out on the radio for his cousin and watched as the unfolding harbor duel moved toward a tragic end.
The Harbor Boys, deeply moving and well observed, brilliantly charts a young man as he battles inheritance and struggles to place himself in a world of his own making.
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In his first novel since the bestselling memoir The Speckled People, Hugo Hamilton has created a truly compelling story of lost identity and a remarkable reflection on the ambiguity of belonging.From Publishers Weekly:
There's no waking from the nightmare of history in this haunting—and sometimes heavy-handed—follow-up to Hamilton's prize-winning memoir, The Speckled People. The author's coming-of-age in 1960s Dublin is dominated by his mother and father, she an anti-Nazi German immigrant, he an ardent Irish nationalist who bans the English language from their home. In this household, every conversation comes shackled to politics and tragedy—Hamilton's parents even compare Beatlemania to Nazism. No wonder the lad develops a Dostoyevskian guilt complex, forever imagining himself complicit in crimes he didn't commit, and longs "to have no past... no conscience and no memory." He escapes to a harbor-front job, but even there the Troubles loom when his Catholic boss feuds with a Protestant fisherman. The story often sags under the author's determination to set everyday happenings in dire historical context: when Hamilton fishes out a pal who fell into the harbor while retrieving a lobster pot, he immediately wishes, "I could bring others back as well... even those who died in Northern Ireland, even those who died in the Irish famine, or those who had been murdered in the Ukraine." But at his best, Hamilton writes with a wonderfully evocative feeling for character and landscape that brings to life the Ireland he grew up in. (Dec.)
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Book Description Harper/Collins, U.S.A., 2006. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. New. Uncorrected Proof. First Edition stated and number line starts with 1. Only minor wear to right lower corner of cover. No markings or writings inside or out, although you can read faint former price at top right corner in pencil. Not a remainder. The Sailor in the Wardrobe printed as The Harbor Boys in U.S. Bookseller Inventory # 002210
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada, 2006. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. This is a new hardcover first edition copy in a new mylar protected DJ, gold spine. Bookseller Inventory # 030825
Book Description Harper, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060784679
Book Description Harper, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060784679