Read The Harbor Boys: A Memoir by Hugo Hamilton Free Online
Book Title: The Harbor Boys: A Memoir|
The author of the book: Hugo Hamilton
Date of issue: November 28th 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.43 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.9
ISBN 13: 9780060784676
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From the author of The Speckled People, one of the most lyrical and powerful memoirs of recent times, comes an exploration of another crucial moment in his early life: the summer he spent working at a harbor close to his home in Dublin, at a time of tremendous unrest.
As a boy, Hugo Hamilton felt a strong desire "to have no past behind me," to be rid of the confused identity he had inherited from his German mother and Irish father, and to cut the tether that connected him to their collective memory. But listening to stories of his mother's shame at the hands of Allied soldiers in the aftermath of the Second World War, along with his German cousin's mysterious disappearance somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, he felt the strengthening of history's determined grip.
A job at the harbor, rather than offering him respite, entangled him in a bitter feud between two fishermen—one Catholic, one Protestant. Against the background of the spiraling troubles in the North, Hugo listened to the missing persons bulletins going out on the radio for his cousin and watched as the unfolding harbor duel moved toward a tragic end.
The Harbor Boys, deeply moving and well observed, brilliantly charts a young man as he battles inheritance and struggles to place himself in a world of his own making.
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Read information about the authorHugo Hamilton is an Irish writer.
Hamilton's mother was a German who travelled to Ireland in 1949 for a pilgrimage, married an Irishman, and settled in the country. His father was a militant nationalist who insisted that his children should speak only German or Irish, but not English, a prohibition the young Hugo resisted inwardly. "The prohibition against English made me see that language as a challenge. Even as a child I spoke to the walls in English and secretly rehearsed dialogue I heard outside," he wrote later.
As a consequence of this, he grew up with three languages - English, Irish and German - and a sense of never really belonging to any: "There were no other children like me, no ethnic groups that I could attach myself to".
Hamilton became a journalist, and then a writer of short stories and novels. His first three novels were set in Central Europe. Then came Headbanger (1996), a darkly comic crime novel set in Dublin and featuring detective Pat Coyne. A sequel, Sad Bastard, followed in 1998.
Following a year spent in Berlin on a cultural scholarship, he completed his memoir of childhood, The Speckled People (2003), which went on to achieve widespread international acclaim. Telling the story through the eyes of his childhood self, it painfully evoked the struggle to make sense of a bizarre adult world. It "triumphantly avoids the Angela's Ashes style of sentimental nostalgia and victim claims," wrote Hermione Lee in the The Guardian . "The cumulative effect is to elevate an act of scrupulous remembering into a work of art," commented James Lasdun in the New York Times. The story is picked up in the 2006 volume, The Sailor in the Wardrobe.
In May 2007, German publisher Luchterhand published Die redselige Insel (The Talkative Island), in which Hamilton retraced the journey Heinrich Böll made in Ireland that was to be the basis of his bestselling book Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal) in 1957. Hamilton's most recent novel, Disguise was published on June 6, 2008.
Hugo Hamilton lives in Dublin, Ireland.
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