The rain stopped, the winds quieted, and we explored the town of Howth today. With the Irish Sea always audible, we walked the coast line for lunch, the hill for dinner then back to the Howth Yacht Club for time with best selling Irish writer Hugo Hamilton.
Hamilton’s Speckled People, a memoir of growing up in Ireland during the 1950s and 60s as a German-Irish child whose father forbids the use of English in their home, received international recognition and has been made into a stage play. He spoke of writing out of his nightmares, “of the pieces of memory that walk beside you like a ghost and taunt you until you write them down.” Our group had the luxury of three hours with Hamilton to talk about the writing process before an evening reading.
It’s hard not to fill this entry with lines of Hamilton quotes. Even his humorous description of interviewing a not very talkative Jonathan Franzen (Freedoms) was filled with wonderful twists of words. I’ll just capture this one thought from Hamilton about writing memoir: “The answer to how to approach difficulties in a memoir is—it is your story. All the people you’ve met are your stories. You have to be loyal to the truth—”the narrative of your life.”
Tomorrow my own reading in Howth.