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

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

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, it has a louder voice. The local radio station runs a thrice-daily roll-call of the recently departed. The islanders keep vigil with the corpse and share in the sorrow of the bereaved. The living and the dead are bound together in the oldest rite of humanity. In My Father's Wake, Kevin Toolis gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, celebrating the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and asking if 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: 9781474605243
  • Publication date: 23 Aug 2018
  • 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
The windswept Irish island of MY FATHER'S WAKE is one of the final remote outposts of true death engagement in the Western world. Toolis's book is both memoir and anthropology, and serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the industrialized, for-profit death industry we've come to wrongly believe is our only option — CAITLIN DOUGHTY, author of the New York Times bestsellers Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity
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
Toolis writes superbly ... it's as a memoir that this engrossing book works best — Anthony Gardner, MAIL ON SUNDAY
A gut-wrenching exploration of death from an Irish perspective ... A fascinating view of what most of us try not to consider: the end of life ... This book is not for the faint of heart, as the experiences [Toolis] shares will leave readers emotionally raw. It is unquestionably rewarding, however, a thought-provoking argument against a sterile and industrial view of death ... Intimate, eye-opening — KIRKUS (starred review)
Visceral and profound — NEW YORK TIMES
His moving memoir is a powerful reminder that the end of life is as precious as its beginning. — Jane Shilling, DAILY MAIL
Orion

What Lies Buried

Margaret Kirk
Authors:
Margaret Kirk

'Shadow Man is a harrowing and horrific game of consequences' Val McDermid THE BRILLIANTLY COMPELLING SECOND NOVEL IN THE DI LUKAS MAHLER SERIESA skeleton is discovered, buried deep in the earth, on the Farr View Heights construction site. That's nothing new in the Highlands - bones are often discovered in the old graves of Picts and Vikings. But it's not the skull itself that makes the crew stop in horror - it's the bullet hole above the eye-socket.So begins an investigation that takes DI Lukas Mahler deep into Inverness's criminal underworld - one of organised crime, murder and betrayal - and even deeper into his own harrowing past.WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MARGARET KIRK'S DEBUT NOVEL SHADOW MAN:'Gripping''Kept me on my toes right to the end''Another great detective is born''Shadow Man has a taut plot, maintains suspense cleverly and is crisply written''The city of Inverness is almost a character in its own right''A top-notch crime thriller, full of intricate twists with a disturbing insight into the mind of a cold blooded killer''Dark and atmospheric, I just couldn't put it down'

W&N

How to Think Like a Fish

Jeremy Wade
Authors:
Jeremy Wade

Far from being a conventional 'how to' guide, this book is about the simple fundamental principles of fishing - a mindset for success. In other words, how to think like a fish.After starting to fish in rural England more than fifty ago, and going on to become a captor of large, wily carp in his teens, Jeremy Wade started combining angling with far-flung exploration in 1982 - a trip to northern India via Afghanistan in a plane that just weeks later was hit by a ground-to-air missile. Since then Jeremy have caught an unparalleled array of large and outlandish fish from challenging locations all over the world, originally in seat-of-the-pants solo travels and more recently in the company of a TV crew. Among the fish caught are a dozen freshwater species over the weight of 100 pounds, some of which were unknown even to anglers until recently. As these catches have come more to the public attention, many people have approached Jeremy about how they can improve their fishing results.Fishing is about deception, so it has to engage the brain. It is an exercise in problem solving, where no two sets of circumstances are exactly the same, where success is an artful blend of drawing on experience and keeping an open mind.

W&N

Under the Camelthorn Tree

Kate Nicholls
Authors:
Kate Nicholls

Orion

The Glass Lake

Maeve Binchy
Authors:
Maeve Binchy

'THE GLASS LAKE is Maeve Binchy at her spellbinding best - you'll never want it to end' Woman's Journal'Maeve Binchy really knows what makes women tick. She crystallises their hopes, dreams and passions in her novels and now she has done it again in THE GLASS LAKE ... a marvellous read' Daily MirrorKit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, a place where nothing changes - until the day Kit's mother disappears and Kit is haunted by the memory of her mother, alone at the kitchen table, tears streaming down her face. Now Kit, too, has secrets: of the night she discovered a letter and burned it, unopened. The night her mother was lost. The night everything changed forever...(p) Audible Ltd 1995

W&N

Making a Noise

John Tusa
Authors:
John Tusa

John Tusa is a distinguished journalist, broadcaster and leader of arts organisations, best remembered for his times at the BBC, including creating Newsnight.Tusa's memoir is etched with candour. His account of two years of internecine warfare at the top of the BBC under the Chairman, 'Dukey' Hussey will go down as a major contribution to BBC history. His recollections of a hilarious and petty-minded few months as head of a Cambridge college will be read as a case study of the absurdities of academic life; while running the rejected and maligned Barbican Centre, Tusa led its recovery into the major cultural centre that it is today.

W&N

Out of the Woods

Luke Turner
Authors:
Luke Turner
Trapeze

Maid

Stephanie Land
Authors:
Stephanie Land
W&N

We Are Displaced

Malala Yousafzai
Authors:
Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai introduces some of the faces behind the statistics and news stories we read or hear every day about the millions of people displaced worldwide.Malala's experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement - first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world, except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced, which is part memoir, part communal storytelling, Malala not only explores her own story of adjusting to a new life while longing for home, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her various journeys - girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they've ever known. In a time of immigration crises, war and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is an important reminder from one of the world's most prominent young activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person - often a young person - with hopes and dreams, and that everyone deserves universal human rights and a safe home.

W&N

Night Runners

Richard Crompton
Authors:
Richard Crompton
Orion Spring

Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner)

Michael Hebb
Authors:
Michael Hebb

For readers of Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air, the acclaimed co-founder of Death over Dinner offers a practical, inspiring guide to life's most difficult yet important conversation. 'These are the conversations that will help us to evolve' Arianna HuffingtonOf the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death - and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Yet few of these conversations are actually happening. Inspired by his experience with his own father and countless stories from others who regret not having these conversations, Michael Hebb cofounded Death Over Dinner - an organisation that encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common. Death Over Dinner has been one of the most effective end-of-life awareness campaigns to date; in just three years, it has provided the framework and inspiration for more than a hundred thousand dinners focused on having these end-of-life conversations. As Arianna Huffington said, 'We are such a fast-food culture, I love the idea of making the dinner last for hours. These are the conversations that will help us to evolve.'Let's Talk About Death (over Dinner) offers keen practical advice on how to have these same conversations - not just at the dinner table, but anywhere. There's no one right way to talk about death, but Hebb shares time- and dinner-tested prompts to use as conversation starters, ranging from the spiritual to the practical, from analytical to downright funny and surprising. By transforming the most difficult conversations into an opportunity, they become celebratory and meaningful - ways that not only can change the way we die, but the way we live.'With wisdom and grace, Michael Hebb shows us how to have the essential conversations we dread, fear - or just don't know how to have. These conversations, like this book, are expansive, filled with hope, and make us more courageous, connected, and honest' Esther Perel, New York Times bestselling author of Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs

Seven Dials

Operation Lighthouse

Luke Hart, Ryan Hart
Authors:
Luke Hart, Ryan Hart
W&N

How Does It Feel?

Mark Kermode
Authors:
Mark Kermode

'A rattling tornado of a tale' DANNY BAKER'Wonderful and wry . . . it will increase your zest for life' RICHARD AYOADEFollowing a formative encounter with the British pop movie Slade in Flame in 1975, Mark Kermode decided that musical superstardom was totally attainable. And so, armed with a homemade electric guitar and very little talent, he embarked on an alternative career - a chaotic journey which would take him from the halls and youth clubs of North London to the stages of Glastonbury, the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall.HOW DOES IT FEEL? follows a lifetime of musical misadventures which have seen Mark striking rockstar poses in the Sixth Form Common Room, striding around a string of TV shows dressed from head to foot in black leather, getting heckled off stage by a bunch of angry septuagenarians on a boat on the Mersey, showing Timmy Mallet how to build a tea-chest bass - and winning the International Street Entertainers of the Year award as part of a new wave of skiffle. Really. Hilarious, self-deprecating and blissfully nostalgic, this is a riotous account of a bedroom dreamer's attempts to conquer the world armed with nothing more than a chancer's enthusiasm and a simple philosophy: how hard can it be?

W&N

The Book of Humans

Adam Rutherford
Authors:
Adam Rutherford

'Charming, compelling and packed with information. I learned more about biology from this short book than I did from years of science lessons. A weird and wonderful read' PETER FRANKOPAN We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox - that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special - lies at the heart of who we are.In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature.THE BOOK OF HUMANS tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.With illustrations by Alice Roberts

W&N

The Pianist

Wladyslaw Szpilman
Authors:
Wladyslaw Szpilman

The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.'We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close... riveting' OBSERVEROn September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside - so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, THE PIANIST is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.'The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear... but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone' LITERARY REVIEWRead by Laurence Dobiesz(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

W&N

Hometown Tales: Wales

Tyler Keevil, Eluned Gramich
Authors:
Tyler Keevil, Eluned Gramich
W&N

Hometown Tales: Yorkshire

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Victoria Hennison
Authors:
Cathy Rentzenbrink, Victoria Hennison
W&N

Human Errors

Nathan H. Lents
Authors:
Nathan H. Lents
Trapeze

The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Katherine May
Authors:
Katherine May

In August 2015, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating, and why the world felt full of inundation and expectations she can't meet. Setting her feet down on the rugged and difficult path by the sea, the answer begins to unfold. It's a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparks a realisation that she has Asperger's Syndrome. The Electricity of Every Living Thing tells the story of the year in which Katherine comes to terms with her diagnosis. It leads to a re-evaluation of her life so far - a kinder one, which finally allows her to be different rather than simply awkward, arrogant or unfeeling. The physical and psychological journeys become inextricably entwined, and as Katherine finds her way across the untameable coast, she also finds the way to herself. This book is a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace within our own unquiet minds.

W&N

The Reading Cure

Laura Freeman
Authors:
Laura Freeman
W&N

The Best of A. A. Gill

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

For over twenty years, people turned to A. A. Gill's columns every Sunday - for his fearlessness, his perception, and the laughter-and-tear-provoking one-liners - but mostly because he was the best. 'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age', as Lynn Barber put it. This is the definitive collection ofa voice that was silenced too early but that can still make us look at the world in new and surprising ways.In the words of Andrew Marr, A..A. Gill was 'a golden writer'. There was nothing that he couldn't illuminate with his dazzling prose. Wherever he was - at home or abroad - he found the human story, brought it to vivid life, and rendered it with fierce honesty and bracing compassion. And he was just as truthful about himself. There have been various collections of A. A. Gill's journalism - individual compilations of his restaurant and TV criticism, of his travel writing and his extraordinary feature articles. This book will collect examples of the very best of his work: the peerlessly funny criticism, the extraordinarily knowledgeable food writing, assignments throughout the world, and reflections on life, love, and death. Drawn from a range of publications, including the Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Tatler and Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Ivy Cookbook and his books on England and America, it will be by turns hilarious, uplifting, controversial, unflinching, sad, funny and furious.