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'I was following a religious energy and my father's family are Scottish-Irish' - Tori Amos talks religion, fighting the patriarchy and moving to Kinsale

Ahead of the publication of her new book, Tori Amos tells Barry Egan about the lessons learnt from religion, fighting the patriarchy, her mother's death and moving to Kinsale

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Tori Amos

Tori Amos

Ballywilliam House

Ballywilliam House

The living room of Ballywilliam House

The living room of Ballywilliam House

Resistance by Tori Amos (Hodder)

Resistance by Tori Amos (Hodder)

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Tori Amos

She was born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963, in North Carolina. In 2004, by then long since re-imagined as the queen of kook rock Tori Amos, she was asked by Q magazine what was wrong with being called Myra Ellen. (She changed it when she was 20.) Her reply was typically Tori.

"My mother is Mary Ellen," came her answer. "My sister is Marie after the French Mary. And I'm Myra, after the Hebrew. My father has the need for the same name of the mother of Jesus everywhere but I think you can only push your faith on a child for so long. It's a lot for a little girl to take on board, especially as Mary did not have a child through consensual sex. How can you be like Mary the mother - unless, of course, you get to [have carnal knowledge with] God too?"

I think I can safely say there are very few artists who could shape a sentence like that; and not offend pretty much everyone of religious faith in the world. As such there are very few artists like the one and only Tori Amos. My head was spinning (in a good way) after 60 minutes of conversation with her last week. Tori was speaking from her farm in Cornwall where she lives with her English husband Mark Hawley (they married in February 1998 and lived for many years in Kinsale, Co Cork) and their 19-year-old daughter, Tash.