Monday 21 October 2019

My Cultural Life: Alison Walsh, author

Alison Walsh, author of 'The Start of Summer'
Alison Walsh, author of 'The Start of Summer'
Christine Baranski
Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings
Ghost Story

Alison Walsh began her working life in publishing in London, returning home to Dublin, where she worked in Gill books, before turning freelance. She is the author of four novels, including her latest, The Start of Summer and one memoir, In My Mother's Shoes. She has worked as an editor and writer for a number of years. She lives with her husband, Colm, and her three children, Eoin (21), Niamh (18) and Cian (15). She is a mediocre cyclist and a keen swimmer, deluding herself that one day, she will enter - and complete - the Liffey Swim.

Movie: A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story (below is a haunting, if you'll excuse the pun, story about grief and a beautiful meditation on what happens when we die. Lovely to look at and intensely moving.

Ghost Story

Book: Travelling in a Strange Land

I loved David Park's Travelling in a Strange Land. The snowy wilderness and the central character's journey towards the centre of his guilt and unhappiness made me reflect on what it really means to love a child, and how easy it is to fall short. 'Honest' is a word over-used at the moment, but it aptly describes this brave and finely crafted novel.

Artwork: 77 Million Paintings

Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings

I went with my husband to see Brian Eno's installation, 77 Million Paintings, at the RHA Gallery in Ely Place in January and revelled in lying on the floor, letting Eno's ambient music and hypnotic light show work its charm. Thirty years ago, my first date with my husband was also to an Eno exhibition, in Trinity College, where I ruined the chilled vibe with a coughing fit so loud and long that it drowned out the music. We are still together and Brian Eno is as mysterious and powerful as ever.

Music: Miles Davis

I took my dad to see an orchestral variation of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue at the end of May - and it was a good reminder of how jazz and classical music formed the backdrop to our lives growing up.

TV: The Good Fight

Christine Baranski

The Good Fight, starring Christine Baranski (above), has returned and this incomparable spin-off from The Good Wife continues to deliver a great role for an older woman and sucker punches to the American establishment. It digs around in the murky waters of race in the US, all delivered with bravado and lots of tears, and is very timely.

'The Start of Summer' by Alison Walsh is published by Hachette Ireland,

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