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Brian Keenan - Author

About the Author

Brian Keenan is a writer and poet. AN EVIL CRADLING is the story of his four years' captivity in Beirut and is recognized as a non-fiction classic. He is also the author of a travel book, BETWEEN EXTREMES with John McCarthy, and a novel, TULLOUGH.

Featured books by Brian Keenan

Other books by Brian Keenan

Keeping Canaries

Keeping Canaries

Author: Brian Keenan Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2012

Canaries have been domesticated since the fifteenth century, when the Spanish first imported them from their Canary Isles home, attracted by their melodic song. Since then their popularily as a caged bird has spread throughout the world, This book instroduces several of the different types of canary that are popular today, and offers invaluable advice on the responsibilities of ownership and how best to care for these beautiful birds.

I'll Tell Me Ma A Childhood Memoir

I'll Tell Me Ma A Childhood Memoir

Author: Brian Keenan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/06/2010

Local rather than international, the dramas and privations described in this memoir are not the stuff of headlines. This is the story of an ordinary boy growing up in Belfast after the war; an ordinary boy who would go on to become world-famous as a hostage in Beirut and author of the extraordinary testimony of imprisonment and survival that was An Evil Cradling. Brian Keenan has captured the vanished world of 1950s Belfast in all its vivid vernacular and grey, post-war austerity. I'll Tell Me Ma is an affectionate story of a disaffected childhood. At the centre is a shy, self-conscious boy of unusual moral integrity; a boy puzzled by religion and sectarianism, in love with books and music and full of curiosity about the world outside. It is also a book about coming-to-terms with the past: a resounding, thrilling record of redemption.

Blind Flight

Blind Flight

Author: Brian Keenan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2004

Brian Keenan went to Beirut in 1985 for a change of scene from his native Belfast. He became headline news when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen and held in the suburbs of Beirut for the next four and a half years. For much of that time he was shut off from all news and contact with anyone other than his jailers and, later, his fellow hostages, amongst them John McCarthy.

Turlough

Turlough

Author: Brian Keenan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2001

While held hostage by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen in the suburbs of Beirut, Brian Keenan was visited and sustained by the presence of Turlough O'Carolan - the legendary blind Irish harper of the seventeenth century. This novel is thus a re-creation of an extraordinary historical story and a personal debt repaid. It is also, obliquely, a parallel life - another life imprisoned, shaped by the dark. Narrated largely by O'Carolan from his death-bed, and through the recollections of those closest to him, Turlough powerfully brings to life a lost Ireland of famine and disease, eviction and oppression. Stalking through the broken and dispossessed comes Turlough O'Carolan, the musical prodigy, blinded by smallpox and now an itinerant harper, lauded by the aristocracy and a hero to his people. His Rabelaisian desire for drink and women is counterpointed by his artistic struggle towards the great music and some kind of inner peace. Driven by demons and dreams, riven by contradictions, Turlough emerges as a great man, full of frailty: a blind man afraid of the dark. A panoramic picaresque, rich with the textures and smells of rural Ireland and peopled by a host of angels and devils, Turlough is a remarkable historical journey, and a huge imaginative feat.

Turlough

Turlough

Author: Brian Keenan Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/09/2000

Between Extremes

Between Extremes

Author: Brian Keenan, John McCarthy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2000

In 1986 Brian Keenan and John McCarthy were forced to take a journey without maps. For the next four years they were incarcerated in a Lebanese dungeon. From the blank outlook of a tiny cell, with only each other and a few volumes of an ancient American encyclopaedia to sustain them, they could only wander the wide open spaces of their imagination. To displace the ugly confines of their existence, they envisaged walking in the High Andes and across the wastes of Patagonia. Five years after their return Brian and John chose to travel together again to see how the reality of Chile matched their imagination and to revisit their past experiences. They journeyed by every means available through vast empty deserts, verdant plains and barren tundra. Between Extremes is the story of that journey which once more found them far from home, in an unfamiliar landscape, but which for the first time allowed them to live by their own rules.

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