Two new Irish novels that both deal with the same subject have been published recently.
Words to Shape My Name by Laura McKenna and The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan deal with the former slave Tony Small, servant of United Irishman Lord Edward Fitzgerald.
Though both novels tell the same life-story, they couldn’t be different in tone or style. At their core, both novels concern the telling of truths and how language is used to fashion fiction out of fact, with McKenna’s in particular – her characters write, rewrite, correct, comment and edit each other’s recollections of events.
Anthony Small is a little-known figure in Irish history, but his life story is fascinating.
My review of both book is published in Books Ireland here.