Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jennifer Johnston interview

Recently V former Sophie Haslett interviewed the novelist Jennifer Johnston about her life and work. In particular, she questioned her on one of the novels on the comparative module of the Leaving Certificate course, How Many Miles to Babylon? Our recently-finished LC candidates studied the book this year, and it is also being studied by next year's candidates. Sophie's interview is wide-ranging, and also covers other work such as Shadows on our Skin, Johnston's background, and her general approach to starting a novel.

Among the questions and answers :-

SH : "Is there a theme or a strand running through all of your novels?"

JJ : "Ireland is the main theme, and Irish women and their plight if you like to call it. The mess that all make of our lives too, because I don’t know anybody who hasn’t made a mess of their lives one way or another. Human relationships is another and the relationships between the very old and the very young has always fascinated me. Then there are all the normal themes like love, violence and death. Another common one is the impossibility of so many things that we’re told as children that we can do. But Ireland is the main one. I’m very attached to it, it’s my home."

This interview (click here) is recommended for our V form in particular, as well as Johnston's essay on the SLSS website here.

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