This evening saw the launch of the most recent publication by Guildhall Press, The Pigeon Men written by Felicity McCall, at Derry's Central Library. Guest speaker at the launch was author and academic Dr. Liam Campbell.
'In the dim confines of his pigeon loft, Carrie's granda shares with her secrets more intimate and closely guarded than his formula for nurturing a champion bird. Secrets that, for a slong as they remain untold and not believed, will steal her childhood, her future and almost her sanity. Secrets that will leave a legacy that, even for a survivor, will last a lifetime.
Told in the first- and third- person narrative as the past interweaves with the present, the complexity that is the young and adult, public and private Carrie is a chilling metaphor for one of society's last taboos.'
Dr. Campbell said tonight that he read the book in 'one sitting'. He emphasised that it is a very 'courageous' and 'compelling' piece of writing. Campbell has known Felicity McCall for many years and respects her work tremendously. This came across very clearly in his praise for this work tonight.
The Pigeon Men explores a very taboo subject and most especially in modern day Ireland. As Dr. Campbell said, it is 'a compelling and powerful work...from one of Ireland's most accomplished writers; tragic in theme, courageous and rich in expression, but always grounded in the confrontation of start realism. The Pigeon Men is quite simply a triumph - moreover, it is a tale that had to be told.'
A large number of people were present tonight to hear Dr. Liam Campbell speak of McCall's work and hear the author herself read from the book. McCall was surrounded tonight by friends and family, writers, and readers from all walks of life. Her ability for putting into words and gripping an audience is outstanding. This is yet another successful piece of writing from the journalist, turned full-time writer and occasional arts facilitator, theatre producer, actor and director of three theatre companies, that will grip its readers!
I'm very fortunate to know Felicity for a number of years and I admire and respect her both as a person and as a writer. I look forward to reading this, her most recent work. I don't doubt I will be impressed once more with her gripping tale. An excellent writer with grave attention to detail, I'm sure this will, like her previous works, impress from the outset!
The Pigeon Men is available to buy tomorrow from Little Acorns Bookstore, and from all local bookstores from Monday.
(book review will be available here on North West Culture very soon!)