Kevin Morley answers thirteen questions in a Booker's Dozen.
TPQ: What book are you currently reading?
KM: I am presently reading two books, The Irish Civil War 1922-23 by Eoin Neeson and Rebels by Peter De Rosa. The latter is an in depth account of the events leading up to the Easter Rising, Easter Week and the aftermath. This is an in depth read although it does contain some erroneous statements and what passes for fact. For example, Dr Kathleen Lynn was the MO for the Irish Citizen Army not the Irish Volunteers. She did treat volunteers obviously but De Rossa implies she was IVF before ICA which simply is not true. The two organisations were allies but never merged as many think the ICA always maintained its autonomy and ideological differences.
TPQ: Best book you have ever read?
KM: My favourite read, which inspired me to write my latest book, is The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist by Robert Tressell (Noonan). A political novel of exploitation and poverty suffered by the working-class and in particular the story outlining the lives of a bunch of house painters.
TPQ: A must read before you die?
KM: I would like to read the full works of Dickens before I die.
TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?
KM: My own preference is marginally for fact, though fact can be transmitted via fiction, if that makes sense, for example in my The Misogynous President many factual events, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Watergate. All these are in this book and the response of the wholly fictitious characters.
TPQ: Favourite female author?
KM: As a child I liked, for some reason, Enid Blyton, but in adult reading I have read several female authors works and one which struck me was The Rebel Countess a biography of Constance Markievicz by Anne Marreco. I found this a very interesting read. I can not say with any definitive clarity to have a favourite female author as there are many.
TPQ: Favourite male author?
KM: When I was at Junior school I read C.S Lewis particularly The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a book I remember well. I have enjoyed reading the works of Charles Dickens. Like the question on my favourite female author I do not really have a preferred male author. Tim Pat Coogan has written good works, there are many. No real preference.
TPQ: First book you ever read?
KM: I read Enid Blyton’s books as a child, I cannot remember which one first. During my adolescence my only real concern in life was Matt Busby and Manchester United FC. Reading and education from about the age of ten was, to me, irrelevant. I did like writing but at my secondary school surviving the day was an achievement. I really can not remember with any clarity the first book I ever read. There was one kiddies' book about a squirrel called Rufty Tufty, Policeman Badger and Harry Hare. I would have been about four years old and can remember that, the Rufty Tufty Club. Whether this counts as a book or not is open to interpretation. Does the 1968 edition of Roy of the Rovers count? Or the 1969 Football Facts with a front cover picture of Matt Busby with the European Cup, does this count?
TPQ: Favourite childhood author?
KM: Again the one which sticks out in my memory was Enid Blyton. Her children’s books, particularly Noddy and Big Ears stories were amusing.
TPQ: Any book you point blank refuse to read?
KM: No, I’ll read most material even if I disagree. How would I know I disagree if I don’t read the material. To be in a position to argue you must know what you are arguing against.
TPQ: Any author you point blank refuse to read?
KM: My latest book, The Misogynous President would give the reader a clear understanding of my politics, the rich and powerful parasites, as I see them. I used poetic license when writing the book but given various statements given by numerous individuals about the real-life incumbent President, not least Michael Cohen my exaggerations are not so exaggerated. In face some may argue my fictitious analysis of bourgeois USA is in fact, in many instances understated. I would recommend this book to get clearer understanding of my perceptions of what we are pleased to call, “the real world”.
TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?
KM: I gave my dad, a former trade unionist, a copy of Striking Similarities which he is enjoying reading. The book is fact to the letter about Thatcher’s assault on the miners and the working class in general. It also, as I said above, covers the 1913/14 Dublin Lockout.
TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?
KM: After my own book, The Misogynous President which I think would make a brilliant movie, an epic due to the years covered in the characters life, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist would make a great film. It has been performed on stage, most recently at Liberty Hall, but to my knowledge there has never been a film made. Taking preference would be my book which, I believe, is written in such a way a movie based on the book would not present a problem. Any film makers out there take a look, I think it would be a goer. The Misogynous President covering the life and downfall of a man who becomes the most powerful person in the western world is great film material.
|Kevin Morley, writer, activist, author of A Descriptive History of the Irish Citizen Army & Striking Similarities & The Misogynous President.|