Irish Blood, English Heart, Ulster Fry
Return Journeys to Ireland
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Annie Caulfield's early years were spent by the seaside in Ireland. However, the family shifted to Sixties London and soon she wasn't sure who she was - was she English, was she Irish, and if so, what kind of Irish? Watching the news of The Troubles, she was unable to recognise the country she'd left behind.
On return journeys to visit her family over the last thirty years, she discovers how much The Troubles have caused weird and successful aspects of the country's life and history to be overlooked. Caulfield's background is religiously and politically mixed, giving her a unique and often astute perspective on The Troubles. This is an Irish emigrant's tale, asking whether you can ever really go back to your roots. If you were a punk rocker when others were on hunger strike, can you really put your hand on your heart and say 'my people'? If you get a headache and go home to watch Big Brother on 12th July, are you just too flippant to understand your own country?
There are many books on the recent history of Northern Ireland, but none give such a funny insight into the lives of ordinary people as Annie Caulfield's affectionate portrait of 'Alternative Ulster'.
- Penguin Books Ltd, August 2006
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