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How Does Violence Undo a Life? Darran Anderson

Festival of Ideas
Darran Anderson

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Disinterring his own and his country’s hard pasts, Darran Anderson discusses the objects that make up a life – and the violence that can undo it.

A smuggler and a deserter, Anderson’s grandfathers skirted the Second World War on the fringes of legality. His father survived the height of the political violence in Northern Ireland and he himself came of age during the final years of the Troubles. As a young man, he lost his way in the midst of hedonism, division and isolation.

To find a means of existing in the world, he felt compelled to leave his hometown of Derry. But the disappearance of a young man brought him back to the city, its history and the history of his own family.

Challenging generations of silence, he is in conversation with Max Porter.

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Inventory book jacket

Darran Anderson’s Inventory: A River, A City, A Family is published by Chatto & Windus. Buy a copy from Waterstones, our bookselling partners.

Darran Anderson

Darran Anderson is the author of Imaginary Cities (2015), chosen as a Book of the Year by the Financial Times, the Guardian, the AV Club and others. He has co-edited The Honest Ulsterman3:AM MagazineDogmatika and White Noise. He writes for the Atlanticfrieze magazine and Magnum.


Image credit: Liz Seabrook

Max Porter is the author of Lanny, longlisted for the Booker Prize, and Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. He is the recipient of the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award. His latest book is The Death of Francis Bacon.

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