Colin Broderick's readings from and discussion of his memoir That's That held an audience of 61 Irish born and Irish Americans in rapt attention as he brought the audience at the Irish Cultural Society meeting into the turbulent North of the Troubles, the North of the first twenty years of his life. Meeting in the Garden City Library the evening of September 11, Broderick chose delightful scenes of a boy growing up where the "tay" kettle never got cold and where temporary council housing was the permanent home of many. His prose is so clear that he was able to make his audience understand the differences among "mizzle" and "drizzle" and "rain" in the context of cutting turf. Broderick told a delightful explanation of the origin of his title, That's That, a story best heard form Colin Broderick himself at a reading you organize.
Broderick inevitably knew of the work of the Provisional IRA; indeed knew members. He confessed that silence was the expected response to any inquiries about the "boys." His final reading selection juxtaposed Colin's participating in foaling with a British helicopter hovering over the scene of an ambush and massacre of an IRA column, men well known in Colin's community. The beauty of birth and the anguish of violence and death dramatically woven together.
One member of the audience told Colin Broderick of her friend's, a native of Monaghan, confused identity now that the arms have been laid down. She has no where to place her fear and anger. Broderick supported the Monaghan woman's confusion because the confusion is his too. He even admitted the irony that he feels he has more in common with the Protestants of the North whom he was taught to hate than he has with the Irish of the Republic. Any organization which invites Colin Broderick for a reading can expect can this kind of exchange.
All of the above was delivered in a Northern brogue that falls nicely on the ears. Colin Broderick sold all of the That's That copies he had brought (and a good number of Orangutan volumes, too). How does a writer quantify success: book sales.
Colin Broderick is a member of WG. Invite him over.