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
W&N

How I 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

Natural Born Learners

Alex Beard
Authors:
Alex Beard

Learning is the soul of our species. From our first steps to our last words, we are what we learn. But for all its obvious importance, learning has lost touch with human progress. We live in an information age, work in a knowledge economy, yet our schools are relics of an industrial era. Education insider Alex Beard takes us on a dazzling tour of the future of learning to show how we can - and why we must - do better. Tackling everything from artificial intelligence to our growing understanding of the infant brain, Natural Born Learners is a user's guide to transforming learning in the twenty-first century and roadmap to accessing our better future selves.

Orion Spring

The Baby Loss Guide

Zoe Clark-Coates
Authors:
Zoe Clark-Coates

Written by one of the world's leading baby loss support experts, The Baby Loss Guide is designed to help you navigate this complex issue. Whether you have personally encountered loss, or are supporting people through this harrowing time, this book provides practical and compassionate advice. Zoe and her husband Andy have personally faced the loss of five babies. Out of their experiences came the charity The Mariposa Trust (more often known by its primary division Saying Goodbye), offering support to thousands of grieving parents and relatives around the world each week. In her first bestselling book Saying Goodbye Zoe wrote a moving account of their experiences and how they found a way through loss.In The Baby Loss Guide Zoe provides a supportive and practical guide to walk people through their darkest days of suffering and gives them hope for the future. The first half of the book answers the many questions those who encounter loss ask themselves and others, and until now have resulted in people spending hours exploring the internet to gain answers and insight. It is interlaced with personal stories from both men and women who have been there, and tackles the many myths, taboos and assumptions around loss. It also provides clear guidance and advice on how to navigate life following your world imploding, such as: How do I return to work? How do I know if or when I should try again for more children? How do I communicate with my partner about loss?The second half of the book offers 60-days of practical and compassionate support. Whether someone's loss be recent or historic, this support will be a wonderful gift, and will help the person walk the scary path of grief. Zoe's friendly and down to earth approach means she removes the often over used medical terminology, and this makes The Baby Loss Guide readable, easy to absorb and a vital source of information and help.

W&N

Native Soil

Beth Lynch
Authors:
Beth Lynch
Seven Dials

A Child Called It

Dave Pelzer
Authors:
Dave Pelzer

A harrowing, yet inspiring true story of a young boy's abusive childhood, from internationally bestselling author Dave Pelzer. Brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother - Dave became a slave; he was no longer a boy, but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and unwashed, and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dog's bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational book of the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive. It is the first book in the My Story trilogy.'His child's voice is immensely powerful and is an extraordinary testament to the human desire for survival.' Daily Mail'This heartfelt true story of one child's courage to survive cannot fail to move you.' Heat'It takes a personal testimony like Dave Pelzer's to bring home the horrors of child abuse - the secrecy, the shame, the struggle to survive.' Bel Mooney, Mail on Sunday'Pelzer is able to continue his dreadful story in an admirably dispassionate style ... It is this cool tone that makes what he has to say even more compelling.' The Times

W&N

Postcards to Europe

Various
Authors:
Various
Orion

Out of the Woods

Luke Turner
Authors:
Luke Turner

After the disintegration of the most significant relationship of his life, the demons Luke Turner has been battling since childhood are quick to return - depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man, experiences of sexual abuse, and the religious upbringing that was the cause of so much confusion. It is among the trees of London's Epping Forest where he seeks refuge. But once a place of comfort, it now seems full of unexpected, elusive threats that trigger twisted reactions.No stranger to compulsion, Luke finds himself drawn again and again to the woods, eager to uncover the strange secrets that may be buried there as he investigates an old family rumour of illicit behaviour. Away from a society that still struggles to cope with the complexities of masculinity and sexuality, Luke seeks to accept the duality that has been the cause of so much unrest in his life - and reconcile the expectations of others with his own way of being.Out of the Woods is a dazzling, devastating and highly original memoir about the irresistible yet double-edged potency of the forest, and the possibility of learning to find peace in the grey areas of life.

Trapeze

Maid

Stephanie Land
Authors:
Stephanie Land

Educated meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid. A beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in the western world. Includes a foreword by international bestelling author Barbara Ehrenreich. 'My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.'As a struggling single mum, determined to keep a roof over her daughter's head, Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, working long hours in order to provide for her small family. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society. As she worked hard to climb her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labour jobs as a cleaner whilst also juggling higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told. The stories of the overworked and underpaid. Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of the upper-middle classes and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. 'I'd become a nameless ghost,' Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the 'servant' worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.

Orion

To Catch a Killer

Emma Kavanagh
Authors:
Emma Kavanagh
W&N

We Are Displaced

Malala Yousafzai
Authors:
Malala Yousafzai
W&N

Night Runners

Richard Crompton
Authors:
Richard Crompton

In the slums of Nairobi there is a place where the fires burn constantly and the stench of decay never fades. Dandora, the city's dumping ground, is filled with shadowy figures the world has left behind. Here too are rumours of the night runners - those said to be possessed by spirits, or the devil.Detective Mollel understands what it means to be an outsider. Born in a Maasai village and forever at odds with the corrupt ranks of the city police, he is drawn to the case of a Fatima, a young girl who has gone missing in the slum. His search takes him deep into Nairobi's underworld, from rap clubs to voodoo healers, and to the lair of the self-styled overlord of Dandora. He learns that Fatima is not the first person to have disappeared, and to find out what has happened to her, Mollel must open his mind to things he cannot see...

Orion

The Insider

Mari Hannah
Authors:
Mari Hannah
Seven Dials

Operation Lighthouse

Luke Hart, Ryan Hart
Authors:
Luke Hart, Ryan Hart

Orion

The Book of Humans

Adam Rutherford
Authors:
Adam Rutherford
W&N

Hometown Tales: Glasgow

Kirsty Logan, Paul McQuade
Authors:
Kirsty Logan, Paul McQuade

Original tales by remarkable writersHometown Tales is a series of books pairing exciting new voices with some of the most talented and important writers at work today. Some of the tales are fiction and some are narrative non-fiction - they are all powerful, fascinating and moving, and aim to celebrate regional diversity and explore the meaning of home. In these pages on Glasgow, you'll find two unique memoirs. 'The Old Asylum in the Woods' is an intimate, intensely moving account of growing up in the shadow of Woodilee Hospital by author of The Gracekeepers and The Gloaming, Kirsty Logan. 'Glasgow Sang' is a deeply personal journey on foot through the city, from Kelvin Way Bridge to George Square to the statue of La Pasionaria, by Paul McQuade.

W&N

Hometown Tales: Yorkshire

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Victoria Hennison
Authors:
Cathy Rentzenbrink, Victoria Hennison

Original tales by remarkable writers Hometown Tales is a series of books pairing exciting new voices with some of the most talented and important writers at work today. Some of the tales are fiction and some are narrative non-fiction - they are all powerful, fascinating and moving, and aim to celebrate regional diversity and explore the meaning of homeIn these pages on Yorkshire, you'll find two unique memoirs. 'The Yorkshire Years' is Cathy Rentzenbrink's deeply moving account of returning to Snaith, where her brother Matty was knocked down by a car over twenty years before. 'The Island upon the Moor' traces a powerful journey - from a carefree childhood in the village of Holme-upon-Spalding Moor - to surviving dark periods of depression, by Victoria Hennison.

W&N

The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983–1992

Tina Brown
Authors:
Tina Brown
W&N

Human Errors

Nathan H. Lents
Authors:
Nathan H. Lents
W&N

From Here to Eternity

Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair
Contributors:
Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair

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. 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

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.