Irish Blood, English Heart, Ulster Fry: Return Journeys to Ireland

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9780141014616: Irish Blood, English Heart, Ulster Fry: Return Journeys to Ireland

Annie Caulfield's early years were spent by the seaside in Ireland. However, the family shifted to Sixties London and soon she wasn't sure who she was - was she English, was she Irish, and if so, what kind of Irish? Watching the news of The Troubles, she was unable to recognise the country she'd left behind.

On return journeys to visit her family over the last thirty years, she discovers how much The Troubles have caused weird and successful aspects of the country's life and history to be overlooked. Caulfield's background is religiously and politically mixed, giving her a unique and often astute perspective on The Troubles. This is an Irish emigrant's tale, asking whether you can ever really go back to your roots. If you were a punk rocker when others were on hunger strike, can you really put your hand on your heart and say 'my people'? If you get a headache and go home to watch Big Brother on 12th July, are you just too flippant to understand your own country?

There are many books on the recent history of Northern Ireland, but none give such a funny insight into the lives of ordinary people as Annie Caulfield's affectionate portrait of 'Alternative Ulster'.

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About the Author:

Annie Caulfield was born in Northern Ireland. She has lived in England for most of her life and now lives in London. She is a stage and radio dramatist and has won several awards. Television work includes Grim Tales, This Life, Comic Relief, Bosom Pals and Voodoo Spice. She has worked for many years as a scriptwriter for comedian Lenny Henry. Her previous book, published by Penguin, was Show Me the Magic, travels around Benin by taxi.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

My family had definitely shifted itself into the middle classes, but pacifism had cost them more than it gained them. Instead of keeping to their tribe, many of my relatives had tried to engage in cross-community activities and politics. They were very dismissive of the threats, from all sides, but there had been recurring threats – hate mail, strange cars following them home at night, intimidating whispers in public places. Nothing had done them any physical harm, but they’d put themselves in the way of harm.

To his dying day, my grandfather, Bimpa, had sighed bitterly over the intransigent and self-interested among his fellow Protestants and what they’d forced the Catholics to do. The Catholics he’d married into. A love conquering all, fine and dandy kind of marriage – but a poor career move for an RUC sergeant. He was never promoted after his marriage and took early retirement.

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Caulfield, Annie
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2006)
ISBN 10: 014101461X ISBN 13: 9780141014616
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