Kevin Toolis - My Father's Wake - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781474605250
    • Publication date:07 Sep 2017
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409175735
    • Publication date:07 Sep 2017

My Father's Wake

How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love and Die

By Kevin Toolis

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

An intimate, lyrical memoir exploring the ancient rite of the Irish wake, and the Irish way of overcoming our fear of death - BEING MORTAL meets THE LAST ACT OF LOVE

Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. But on a remote island, off the coast of County Mayo, death has a louder voice. Along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio station runs a thrice-daily roll-call of the recently departed. The islanders have no fear of death. They go in great numbers, often with young children, to wake with their dead. They keep vigil through the night with the corpse and share in the sorrow of the bereaved. They bear the burden of the coffin on their shoulders and dig the grave with their own hands. The living and the dead remain bound together in the Irish Wake - the oldest rite of humanity.

For twenty years writer and filmmaker Kevin Toolis hunted death in famine, war and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears. In this beautifully written and highly original memoir, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish Wake. With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father's Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

Biographical Notes

Kevin Toolis is a writer and film-maker. He is the author of an acclaimed chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul. He has written for the New York Times Magazine and the Guardian and reported on conflicts across the world. As a film-maker Toolis has won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama and was nominated for an Emmy for his documentaries on the Middle East. His family have lived in the same oceanside village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last 200 years.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474605229
  • Publication date: 07 Sep 2017
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: W&N
As a boy, he learned to kiss the corpse at a traditional island wake. As a film-maker and witness to death in many conflict zones around the world, Kevin Toolis has written a profound book on the culture of grief and death, placing the personal alongside the political in a vivid exploration of our ancient ways of coming together around the dead. This is a moving family story, a memoir of loss and exile, a deep understanding of what makes us alive, casting a cold eye on what is precious and so often denied — HUGO HAMILTON
The 'Western Death Machine' has hidden the dead and dying, but in a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, an almost Homeric society clings to the old ways. The dying are treasured and tenderly watched over, the dead are honoured with the ancient rites and rituals. Contemporary western ideas about death are dominated by individualism; My Father's Wake is a lyrical description of how community and tradition help us deal with our mortality — SEAMUS O’MAHONY, author of The Way We Die Now
A broadside against collective [death] denial. In its alternating shifts of focus, from the intimately personal to the more journalistically detached, it lays bare the desperate numbness that accompanies that denial — SEAN O'HAGAN, Observer
Powerful and immensely moving — Ian Critchley, SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
An enlightening and unflinching dispatch from the frontline, an embedded report by an eyewitness who tries to face death squarely without recourse to mysticism, sentimentality or delusion — Liam Fay, SUNDAY TIMES IRELAND
A heart-warming and very personal account of a life well-lived — Mary Russell, IRISH TIMES
A lyrical, autobiographical rumination. — THE IRISH NEWS
Trapeze

The Craftsman

Sharon Bolton
Authors:
Sharon Bolton

Devoted father or merciless killer?His secrets are buried with him.Florence Lovelady's career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried...ALIVE.Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he's dead, and events from the past startto repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?

Orion

The Lost

Mari Hannah
Authors:
Mari Hannah

The gripping first novel in the exciting new Stone and Oliver series by award-winning author, Mari Hannah.'Nobody understands the many faces of cops better than Mari Hannah.' Val McDermid'Mari Hannah writes with a sharp eye and a dark heart.' Peter JamesAlex should never have agreed to the spur-of-the-moment holiday with her sister. Seven days felt like a year without Daniel, her ten-year-old son. This was the first time they had been apart since he was born and her husband had convinced her it was a good idea.It was a bad idea.Daniel has gone missing.As local CID officers, David Stone and Frankie Oliver have been assigned their first case together. A small boy's fate lies in their hands and the pressure is on.And when someone close to Daniel is found dead, they begin to feel the heat.'A blistering start to Hannah's new detective series, The Lost pitches her fearless coppers into a case which will explode one family's seemingly perfect life. Mari Hannah is a consummate storyteller and her books genuine must reads for any serious crime fan.' Eva Dolan

Orion

Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

Sweetpea Slight
Authors:
Sweetpea Slight

'A sparkling memoir full of charm and wit' NINA STIBBE 'Anyone who loves the theatre will love this book' ZOË WANAMAKER At eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a minuscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea. Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting for the next production is discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre's finest. GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London's West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.(p) Orion Publishing Group with Audible Ltd 2017

Orion

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various
Orion

My Little Eye

Stephanie Marland, Stephanie Broadribb
Authors:
Stephanie Marland, Stephanie Broadribb

The thriller with the twists you'll never see coming! Perfect for fans of The Girl in the Ice and The Missing Ones. Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?KISS THE GIRLS A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals - the latest victim of 'The Lover'. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out. AND MAKE THEM DIE... As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in their own hands - to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group. As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they're being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim - Clementine - firmly in his sights.Read by Damian Lynch and Victoria Fox(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group

Orion

Shadow Man

Margaret Kirk
Authors:
Margaret Kirk

'Shadow Man is a harrowing and horrific game of consequences.' Val McDermid A gripping Scottish crime thriller from the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing competition 2016.Two sistersJust before her wedding day, Morven Murray, queen of daytime TV, is found murdered. All eyes are on her sister Anna, who was heard arguing with her hours before she was killed.Two murdersOn the other side of Inverness, police informant Kevin Ramsay is killed in a gangland-style execution. But what exactly did he know?One killer?As ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler digs deeper into both cases, he discovers that Morven's life was closer to the Inverness underworld than anyone imagined. Caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is Lukas hunting one killer, or two?'A new star of tartan noir is born. Kirk has written a brilliantly tense, atmospheric debut. I can't wait to read more in this highland crime series.' Cass Green, Number 1 ebook bestselling author of THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR.

W&N

From Here to Eternity

Caitlin Doughty
Authors:
Caitlin Doughty

As a practising mortician, Caitlin Doughty has long been fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies. In From Here to Eternity she sets out in search of cultures unburdened by such fears. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather's mummified body. She meets Bolivian ñatitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and discovers the Japanese ritual of kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones' bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humour, Doughty introduces us to inspiring death-care innovators, participates in powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in the West and explores new spaces for mourning - including a futuristic glowing-Buddha columbarium in Japan, a candlelit Mexican cemetery, and America's only open-air pyre. In doing so she expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with 'dignity' and reveals unexpected possibilities for our own death rituals.

W&N

Some Fantastic Place

Chris Difford
Authors:
Chris Difford

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as 'Cool For Cats', 'Up The Junction', 'Labelled With Love', 'Hourglass' and 'Tempted'. Even before his first release in 1977, his love of writing lyrics has never wavered. Over the course of a thirteen-album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His 'kitchen-sink drama' style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and his influence is keenly felt today. The likes of Lily Allen. Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Razorlight and many more have recognized the debt they owe to Squeeze's music and to Difford's way with words, while journalists were moved by his winning combination with Glenn Tilbrook to dub the pair 'The New Lennon and McCartney'.In Some Fantastic Place, Chris Difford charts his life from his early days as a dreaming boy in south London with a talent for poetry to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way he reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.

W&N

The Book of Emma Reyes

Emma Reyes
Authors:
Emma Reyes

'The moment I finished this memoir I read it again. No other book I've ever read has left me so deeply involved with its author' DIANA ATHILL'Astonishing - I read it in a single gulp' DEBORAH MOGGACH'A jewel of a book' NINA STIBBE'Emma's letters remind me what reading and writing are for' LOUISA YOUNG* * * * This astonishing memoir of a childhood lived in extreme poverty in Latin America was hailed as an instant classic when first published in Colombia in 2012, nine years after the death of its author, who was encouraged in her writing by Gabriel García Márquez. Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, it describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing. Emma was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogotá with no water or toilet and only ingenuity to keep her and her sister alive. Abandoned by their mother, she and her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed and mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments and decorative cloths for church. Illiterate and knowing nothing of the outside world, Emma escaped at age nineteen, eventually coming to have a career as an artist and to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Far from self-pitying, the portrait that emerges from this clear-eyed account inspires awe at the stunning early life of a gifted writer whose talent remained hidden for far too long.

Orion

Perception

Terri Fleming
Authors:
Terri Fleming

One wealthy bachelor. Two Bennet sisters lacking prospects. Can either defy expectations? 'A charmingly written evocation of what might have happened to the remaining Bennet sisters. Very enjoyable' Katie Fforde, Sunday Times Number One BestsellerMary Bennet does not dream of marriage. Much to her mother's horror, Mary is determined not to follow in the footsteps of her elder sisters, Jane (now Mrs Bingley) and Lizzy (now Mrs Darcy). Living at home with her remaining sister, Kitty, and her parents, Mary does not care for fashions or flattery. Her hopes are simple - a roof over her head, music at the piano, a book in her hand and the freedom not to marry the first bachelor her mother can snare for her.But Mrs Bennet is not accustomed to listening to her daughters. While Kitty is presented with tempting choices and left trying to resist old habits, May discovers that things are not always what they seem and that happiness has a price. But by the time she realises that her perceptions might be false, could she have missed her chance at a future she'd never imagined?Perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice, Perception continues the adventures of the Bennet sisters in the Regency world we all know. For lovers of Austen and sequels Longbourn and Thornfield Hall, to reimaginings like Eligible and Death Comes to Pemberley, this is a sweeping historical epic to savour.

Orion

Caring for the Dying

Henry Fersko-Weiss
Authors:
Henry Fersko-Weiss

A gentle guide for end of life care aimed at families and caregivers.Caring for the Dying describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days. The approach calls for around-the-clock vigil care, so the dying person and their family have the emotional and spiritual support they need along with guidance on signs and symptoms of dying. It also covers the work of reprocessing a death with the family afterward and the early work of grieving.Emphasis is placed on the space around the dying person and encourages the use of touch, guided imagery, and ritual during the dying process. Throughout the book Fersko-Weiss tells amazing and encouraging stories of the people he has cared for, as well as stories that come from doulas he has trained and worked with over the years.The guidance provided can help a dying person, their family, and caregivers to transform the dying experience from one of fear and despair into one that is uplifting and even life affirming. You will see death in a new light and gain a different perspective on how to help the dying. It may even change the way you live your life right now.Read by Barry Abrams(p) 2017 Tantor Media

Orion Spring

Lessons I've Learned

Davina McCall
Authors:
Davina McCall
W&N

Outside the Asylum

Lynne Jones
Authors:
Lynne Jones

What happens if the psychiatric hospital in which you have lived for ten years is bombed and all the staff run away? What is it like to be a twelve-year-old and see all your family killed in front of you? Is it true that almost everyone caught up in a disaster is likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? What can mental health professionals do to help? How does one stay neutral and impartial in the face of genocide? Why would a doctor support military intervention?Outside the Asylum is Lynne Jones's personal exploration of of humanitarian psychiatry and the changing world of international relief; a memoir of more than twenty-five years as a practising psychiatrist in war and disaster zones around the world. From her training in one of Britain's last asylums, to treating traumatised soldiers in Gorazde after the Bosnian war, helping families who lost everything in the earthquake in Haiti, and learning from traditional healers in Sierra Leone, Lynne has worked with extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. This is a book that shines a light on the world of humanitarian aid, and that shows us the courage and resilience of the people who have to live, work and love in some of the most frightening situations in the world.

W&N

Blue

John Sutherland
Authors:
John Sutherland

A Sunday Times top-five bestsellerA searingly honest memoir of life, policing and falling apart'Every contact leaves a trace'John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, and compelled by the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives, he worked across the capital, experiencing first-hand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring.There were remarkable, career-defining moments: commanding armed sieges, saving lives and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness.In early 2013, John suffered a major breakdown and consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent racing to be the first at the scene of crimes and catastrophes, he found himself in pieces, unable to put one foot in front of the other.Blue is a memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of laughter and loss, of the best and the worst of humanity, of serious illness and slow recovery. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.

W&N

I Must Belong Somewhere

Jonathan Dean
Authors:
Jonathan Dean

'An extraordinary family tale of survival' Sunday TimesHuman and curious . . . an admirable family memoir of migration' GuardianJonathan Dean's great-grandfather, David Schapira, lived a life of epic achievement and epic suffering. Forced to flee Ukraine at the outbreak of World War I, he was blinded fighting for his adopted country then survived - just - the concentration camp that country later sent him to. In between he found love and laughter in Vienna, and became the first Austrian lawyer to train using braille - something no Briton would do until the new century dawned. Dean's grandfather, Heinz Schapira, was also a refugee. Aged 16, he said goodbye to his parents and embarked on a nail-biting journey to Britain, to escape his fate as an Austrian Jew. The prejudice he faced and assimilation he achieved are laid out in the pages of his diary, pages filled with pain and joy, surprising observations and irrepressible humour. But this is no ordinary family history. As Dean visits the places which changed the course of his family tree - Vienna, Cologne, Ukraine - he finds history repeating itself. He talks to refugees from the Middle East, people who left their homes and families at the same age as David and Heinz. And he observes the warning signs: the bigoted excesses of Brexit Britain, the rise of the Far Right in Austria, the backlash against refugees in Germany. By viewing these contemporary experiences through the prism of his family history - and vice versa - Dean creates an impassioned, profoundly timely study of what it means to be a refugee, to be European and, ultimately, to be British.

Orion

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson

Written by a beginner-birdwatcher with the freshness and passion of a convert, WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK explores the world of birds through the seasons of a single year. It describes encounters with particular birds in the landscapes of East Anglia where the author is rooted. Occasional journeys farther afield take the reader to truly wild places in the Outer Hebrides and Eastern Europe. Yet the ordinary experience of birdwatching is also far more than just that. The beauty of birds has the power to change lives, as it did the author's, and as in the case of the all-but-legendary snow leopard, it is more about the search than the result.Personal and elegiac in tone, the writing is an unusual combination of prose poems based on the actual experience of seeing a specific bird for the first time, woven with elements of science and wisdom traditions, ornithology (and its punning counterpart ornitheology), mythology and philosophy, taxonomy and history, literature and folklore, conveying the wider picture of what it means to be human in relationship to nature. WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK explores the degree to which wildness is embedded in the human psyche and how beauty is central to our mental and emotional wellbeing, while highlighting the careless damage we are inflicting on the natural world.Read by Jane Whittenshaw(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Admissions

Henry Marsh
Authors:
Henry Marsh
W&N

Traveling with Ghosts

Shannon Leone Fowler
Authors:
Shannon Leone Fowler

'A cross between H is for Hawk and Wild, this beautifully written tale follows Fowler's travels through Eastern Europe after her fiancé was killed by a jellyfish' Stylist'A brave and necessary record of love, as beautiful as it is heartbreaking' Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth'A rich and absorbing memoir that shows the reader what it feels like to lose your future in a matter of seconds in a faraway land . . . Shannon learns to travel on, to get back in the ocean and to build a new life' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love'Gloriously rendered, beautifully written, but utterly devastating . . . an intimate and inspiring experience . . . balm to the soul, as well as being a necessary witness account of the blackest depths of grief' Viv Groskop, ObserverIn the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was backpacking with her fiancé Sean in Thailand. The couple were planning to return home after their excursion to the island of Koh Pha Ngan but their plans were devastated when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Rejecting the Thai authorities' attempt to label Sean's death as 'drunk drowning', Shannon accompanied his body home to his stunned family - a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon set out on a journey to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by the recent war, Shannon charts a path through sorrow towards recovery. Traveling with Ghosts is a beautiful memorial to love and an intensely personal account of learning to live with grief. It is the story of a brave journey towards survival.

Trapeze

Ragdoll

Daniel Cole
Authors:
Daniel Cole

'Ragdoll is utterly addictive with brilliant characters and a killer twist you will never see coming - the best debut I've ever read.' Rachel Abbott, bestselling author of Only The Innocent* * * * *SHORTLISTED FOR CWA JOHN CREASY AWARD BEST DEBUT NOVELA body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed by the press as the 'Ragdoll'. Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William 'Wolf' Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter. The 'Ragdoll Killer' taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them. With six people to save, can Fawkes & Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move? For readers who were gripped by The Girl Before, The Cuckoo's Calling, Dark Matter and Eeeny Meeny * * * * *'A first class, dark thriller.' Emlyn Rees'A high concept solution to a mystery.' Sophie Hannah'A brilliant, breathless thriller' MJ Arlidge, author of Hide and Seek'The most exciting debut we've read in a long time.' Heat Magazine'Highly anticipated debut that is surely bidding to be the year's most gruesome thriller.' Metro'Gruesome, twisty and wildly addictive... I couldn't put Ragdoll down.' Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies'Terrifyingly brilliant. I dare you to turn the lights out after reading! Robert Bryndza, author of Dark Water'I loved Ragdoll. A rip-roaring, inventive and riveting read.' Jill Mansell, author of Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay'A star is born. Killer plot. Killer pace. Twisted killer and a killer twist. Kill to get a copy.' Simon Toyne, bestselling author of Solomon Creed

W&N

Lines in the Sand

A.A. Gill
Authors:
A.A. Gill

'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age' Lynn Barber'A golden writer' Andrew MarrA. A. Gill was rightly hailed as one of the greatest journalists of our time. This selection of some of his recent pieces, which he made himself before his untimely death, spans the last five years from all corners of the world. It shows him at his most perceptive, brilliant and funny.His subjects range from the controversial - fur - to the heartfelt - a fantastic crystallisation of what it means to be European. He tackles life drawing, designs his own tweed, considers boyhood through the prism of the Museum of Childhood, and spends a day at Donald Trump's university. In his final two articles he wrote with characteristic wit and courage about his cancer diagnosis - 'the full English - and the limits of the NHS. But more than any other subject, a recurring theme emerges in the overwhelming story of our times: the refugee crisis. In the last few years A. A. Gill wrote with compassion and anger about the refugees' story, giving us both its human face and its appalling context. The resulting articles are journalism at its finest and fiercest.