Thursday 14 December 2017

My cultural life: Ciara Geragthy, writer

Ciara Geraghty's latest book, This Is Now, is published by Hachette.
Ciara Geraghty's latest book, This Is Now, is published by Hachette.
Bowie at Slane
Brian Keenan

Ciara Geraghty is the bestselling author of six novels. Her latest book, This Is Now, was described by the Irish Independent as 'a brilliant and brutal tale of loss and retribution.' It tells the stories of four characters, all of whom are, in their own peculiar ways, disconnected from the world. The novel asks if we are the sum of our moments? Or can we change, start again? Ciara has three children, one husband and an adopted dog. She lives in Dublin.

Documentary: Blood Fruit

I love a good documentary. One of my favourites is Blood Fruit which tells the story of the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike which lasted for nearly three years, from 1984 to 1987. The documentary focuses on the - mainly women - strikers; a group of young, working class Dubliners who, at first, knew little about the apartheid regime in South Africa. The film illustrates their journey from naive shop workers to motivated political activists, and how they succeeded in changing the hearts and minds of the Irish government, the citizens of their own country and of the world.

Gig: David Bowie

You never forget your first Slane, do you? Mine was David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour back in 1987. More theatre than gig, Bowie was lowered to the stage from the body of a gigantic spider. Not an easy thing to watch for an arachnophobe like me. Bowie started to sing and the dancers started to move and the sun shone down on the hill of Slane and on my 17-year-old self dancing in the pit. I danced all day. I never stopped.

Technology: iPhone

My iPhone. It sort of changed my life, although I'm aware that that sounds a bit dramatic. But it narrowed the gap that had been growing for years between me and technology, because it made social networking - an unknown and unknowable land beforehand - accessible to luddites like me. My family laugh when I am looking for my phone because I never say, 'Has anyone seen my phone?' I say, 'Has anyone seen my iPhone?' I still say that. After all these years.

Book: An Evil Cradling

One of my favourite books is An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan. It tells the story of the imprisonment of Keenan - an Irish writer and academic - and John McCarthy - a British journalist - from 1986 to 1990 in Beirut. While the book deals with the hostile and sometimes cruel conditions the men endured during their captivity, it also captures the essence of friendship and companionship and love, and this, for me, is what makes this book sing like a song you'll never forget.

Dance: In my kitchen

The thing that most annoys me about getting older is the paucity of venues where one can dance without fear of ridicule. Nightclubs are firmly in the clutches of the 'youth'. They're also fairly noisy places. Nowadays I mostly dance in my kitchen. My teens threaten to put me on Instagram or SnapChat…they reckon it would go viral. They do not mean this in a kind way.

This Is Now, by Ciara Geraghty, is published by Hachette, price approx. €18.

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