I have stopped teaching and settled into early retirement, hoping to spend more time writing. I want to attempt to write fiction again. Previous attempts, sadly, haven’t been up to scratch, but I have learnt from my mistakes with these. I recently shifted into a house with a reasonable sized back yard where I have built (with the help of a few willing friends) a small cabin. It now has a desk, bookcase and armchair – all the essentials.
I’m absorbed in your memoir, getting to know your dad pretty well though he remains an enigma at this point two thirds of the way through the narrative. You write about domestic troubles and family violence in a non-gratuitous way, without the tension and release renditions of it by Roddy Doyle or Sophie Lugana, nor steeped in sentiment, nor offhand, just as part of the fabric of the family and the psyche of the tormented and his victims. I feel for you and your mum. I can relate to a lot of your short break for freedom when you started uni. Perhaps most successful is that you as the main character show your flaws with flair and your life’s journey is thwarted at many turns, making the book a page-turner, but a thoughtful page turner.