Barney Norris is a celebrated playwright, poet, novelist, and generally cracking human. He is quite possibly the perfect company for a saturday afternoon, so we’ll be serving up tea and scones so you can settle right in for some real bookish entertainment.
As lyrical and true to life as Norris’s critically acclaimed debut Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, which won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards, Turning for Home is a compelling, emotional story of family, human frailty, and the marks that love leaves on us.
Inspired by The Boston Tapes, a series of recorded interviews conducted in 2001-6 with (former) Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries Turning for Home is an intimate family portrait set against a complex political landscape.
Every year, Robert’s family come together at a rambling old house to celebrate his birthday. Aunts, uncles, distant cousins – it has been a milestone in their lives for decades. But this year Robert doesn’t want to be reminded of what has happened since they last met – and neither, for quite different reasons, does his granddaughter Kate. Neither of them is sure they can face the party. But for both Robert and Kate, it may become the most important gathering of all.
“Everything [Norris] writes about love, loss, grief, desolation and moments of hope and illumination rings absolutely true. It’s the real stuff.” — Michael Frayn