“I set out to write a non-Troubles book, because I didn’t want that to be the only thing that Ireland (and especially the North) is known for. I realise that it is still there, in our past, and it would be the elephant in the corner if it didn’t feature in our fiction. But I think too many people suffered for us as writers to use that history in a lazy or manipulative way, for entertainment or titillation or a romanticized version of a past that was never true.”Well said, that man. Meanwhile, Brian’s also chipping in at the Macmillan New Writers blog with his teacher’s hat (mortarboard?) on:
“Over the past few years I’ve managed to include THE MOONSTONE, ORANGES FROM SPAIN, Ian Rankin’s A GOOD HANGING, THE OUTSIDERS and THE GODFATHER into my classes, alongside THE GREAT GATSBY and HAMLET, which are two of my favourite texts from my own days at school. This year I’ll be teaching DRACULA amongst other things to one of my classes … I suppose what I’m wondering is, if you could choose one book that isn’t ordinarily taught in school to be added to the curriculum, what would it be and why? And furthermore, are there any books you’d like to see removed from school reading lists? Personally, I could happily survive a few terms without Thomas Hardy…”Methinks every teenager should read THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, THE SUMMER OF ’42, and THE LORD OF THE FLIES.