This is a love story set in the Irish literary world between 1986 and 2015. When first introduced by the poet Derek Mahon, Alannah was an arts journalist turned full-time writer, and Aidan, her senior by 23 years, was one of Ireland’s leading literary stylists. They were together for 29 years, through good times and bad, writing and reading all the while. Drawing on diaries and notebooks, Alannah tells their story candidly and without commentary. The joyful years, filled with festivals, and visits to their Kinsale home by Richard Ford, Edna O’Brien and other literary legends are followed by tougher times during Aidan’s physical and mental decline. It is an exceptional piece of writing, objective and authoritative, personal, honest and moving.
‘Invaluable to literary scholars and those questing readers who seek out the best.’ Annie Proulx
‘Alannah Hopkin has written a fond, honest and deeply fascinating memoir of her partner, Aidan Higgins, a major figure in Irish writing in the 20th century…’ John Banville
In conversation with Thomas McCarthy at the launch of ‘A Very Strange Man’, 1 May 2021
Buy the book: https://www.newisland.ie/nonfiction/a-very-strange-man
Read Aidan’s view from his autobiography Donkey’s Years: https://www.newisland.ie/nonfiction/donkeys-years