Read e-book online A Runner Among Falling Leaves: A Story of Childhood PDF

By Ciaran O'Driscoll

ISBN-10: 0853239479

ISBN-13: 9780853239475

A picture of poet Ciaran O'Driscoll taken whilst he was once 8 or 9 through his father indicates a radiantly smiling baby, possible at domestic along with his relatives and the realm. yet that picture is an anomaly; the boy's face used to be way more frequently darkened by means of a pensive, far away frown. The resources of O'Driscoll's adolescent melancholy—and its lingering lines in his grownup life—are the topic of his evocative memoir, A Runner between Falling Leaves . Born in Kilkenny, eire in 1943, Ciaran O'Driscoll grew up in a house shadowed by way of the bullying and abuse of his father. The violence O'Driscoll suffered by the hands of his father in his domestic was once irritating, yet in lots of respects it paled compared to the general public humiliation his father meted out to the boy in class, the place he served as O'Driscoll's instructor. the twin position his father performed left the kid no position of safe haven, no get away from the consistent psychological cruelty and actual soreness, and the scars of that upbringing proceed to hang-out the writer this present day. In crystalline prose, O'Driscoll offers voice to the silent baby in his stories, exploring the unnerving, roiling feelings of these years from the viewpoint of maturity. the tale strikes backward and forward, from the boy to the guy, as O'Driscoll reconstructs his misplaced youth as a way to unearth the roots of the guy he has turn into. Lyrical, affecting, or even now and then darkly comedian, A Runner between Falling Leaves is an unforgettable portrait of an Irish boyhood.

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Extra info for A Runner Among Falling Leaves: A Story of Childhood

Sample text

It was strange that girls had no gillies. They had a kind of slit instead. My sister standing up naked in the bathtub, looking odd without a gilly. But Harriet was different. Harriet spoke to me. She spoke to me for a good while, and it was different from talking to boys, but still natural. Harriet made it seem natural for me to talk to her. Harriet, too, was a different kind of name. But it suited her very well. Afterwards, the solicitor’s son wanted me to show him my gilly. He brought me round the back of their big house.

Suddenly a living creature appeared on the screen of my daydreaming: a goose running to keep up with the wind, flailing its wings, the day’s epiphany. The westerly airstream boomed and buffeted and whistled against the solid stone walls of the school, and my father raised his voice in competition. The lesson in Irish History needed to be brought to a proper conclusion. Justice had to be done, though the heavens fell. 50 ODriscoll_Part1 50 15/10/01, 10:49 am        ‘And so we see how the Irish betrayed one another and let the Normans in to conquer them because of their petty jealousies and their bickerings.

He left every morning on the local bus. After a few weeks, my father decided to call at the school and see how Anthony was getting on. But he had never once attended; the headmaster had assumed that my father had changed his mind about where to send him. I grudgingly admired my first brother’s attitude to our domestic tyranny. It was courageous and at times gave us something to laugh at, the release of laughter’s complicity. But his attitude was born of despair. And I believe that underneath the sang froid his anger grew, contorting itself in his teenage years into an admiration for Hitler’s Germany, his bedroom walls covered with cut-out photographs of Panzers and Messerschmitts, of Hitler himself and Goebbels and Himmler, and big headlines proclaiming Führer and Blitzkrieg.

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A Runner Among Falling Leaves: A Story of Childhood by Ciaran O'Driscoll

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