“Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast, and each will wrestle for the mastery there.” Faust/Goethe
Robbie McManus is tortured. His psychopathic comrade ‘Padre Pio’ McCann is never far from wreaking havoc. His punk cousin, Rex Mundi, has arrived from England and is getting in the way. His father is imploring him to finish his A-levels and get the hell out of Belfast – and then there’s Sabine, the mysterious loner in The Pound who shimmers, trancelike, on the dancefloor to the opening track of David Bowie’s Low. Her hair dyed jet black in a Cleopatra cut, she is a moving hieroglyphic that Robbie is desperate to decipher.
From the summer of 1978 to a frenzied Irish Cup Final day nine months later, and, through a series of smuggled ‘prison comms’, to the paramilitary-stalked Belfast streets of the late 1980s, all threads collide in a tense, thrilling denouement. At turns shocking and heart-breaking, Two Souls is a deeply affecting novel that crackles and enthrals, tragically exposing human nature’s futile efforts to make the right decisions and to choose a life worth living.
Author of Two Souls, Henry McDonald reads from the book and answer questions from journalist and former head of BBC Radio Merseyside, Mick Ord. This event is held in partnership with joint COoL member Writing on the Wall.
Henry McDonald is a staff writer for The Guardian and The Observer and has been a journalist covering conflicts around the world but specialising in the Northern Ireland Troubles for more than 30 years. He is the author of eight critically acclaimed non-fiction books including the histories of terror groups ranging from the INLA to the UVF. McDonald grew up in central Belfast and witnessed first-hand many of the key early events of the Troubles from Internment in 1971 to the carnage of Bloody Friday a year later. He was a punk rocker in the 1970s as well as a follower of Cliftonville Football Club, which he supports to this day.
Mick Ord is a journalist and the former head of BBC Radio Merseyside, covering the Heysel Stadium disaster, the Hillsborough Tragedy, the Warrington Bomb, Liverpool’s successful bid for European Capital of Culture in 2008. He’s also directed high-profile BBC campaigns and received numerous awards for his journalistic work, including the NUJ Regional Award for Journalist of the Year for his documentary on the Cheshire Regiment’s time in South Armagh.
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