Friday, May 11, 2012

Roddy Doyle at Auckland Readers and Writers Festival



Friday night with Brian Edwards’s holding fort was a fine night. Edwards is hardly humble but Doyle was. Anyone who loves the Commitments would have been at ease with this conversation.
Originally the Commitments was called the Partitions and he referred to the partition of Ireland when the country was split in two in 1921 give or take a year or two. The ramifications of this Ireland still have to deal with today.
In 1994 when he won the Booker Prize, the barman at his local who had strong Republican sympathies said to him, ‘You went there ,You won their prize and you taken their fucken money ‘.
A sweet revenge for 1916
The highlight was Doyle reading his short story Animals from his collection of short stories Bullfighting. If you have a family, kids and pets we can all not only enjoy the story but relate to it too. Edwards could especially with the story of the guinea pig .
There were only two questions, one about The Women Who Walked into Doors and this is perhaps Doyle’s most serious told with a wonderful Irish humour. Doyle tells us after he had written this book ,he gave copies to the to the women’s refuge.
When he turned up to meet the women he felt an awkward silence until the woman who was running the centre asked for comment. A woman looked up and asked him, “ How did you get into my fucken head?”
Doyle’s reply was full of humanity and understanding of the human condition .Perhaps that’s why many of us enjoy his books.