Kerry Andrew & Kerri Ní Dochartaigh: Blood and Water
Where does daily experience in Ireland meet something less tangible, something more speculative? Kerry Andrew’s tender novel Skin is irrigated by the mystery and lure of water. ‘When you got closer – tarn, pool, river, proper swimming lake – the impatience made you sweat.’ The novel’s central character Matty is on a quest to find out the fate of his father after his sudden disappearance.
In swimming his way across the Irish landscape, Matty searches not just for his father, but also for himself. Meanwhile in Kerri ní Dochartaigh’s unforgettable memoir, the Thin Places of the book’s title are portals that exist in Irish mythology; thresholds between this world and the next. Ní Dochartaigh uses this idea as a framework for a book that is both an intense exploration of her life during the Troubles and also one which revels in the inescapable influence of the natural world.
In today’s session, two thrillingly gifted writers tease out the ways in which humans and nature are indivisible.