Live Members' Chat with Author, Colin Broderick

On Monday June 17th at 3:00 p.m. ET, members of The Wild Geese will have the opportunity to chat live with author, Colin Broderick.  If you cannot join us to submit your questions to Colin in real time, leave them in a comment below and we'll be sure we get to them.  The chat transcript will be published here the following day.

* Please note that only those who have registered a profile as members of The Wild Geese will have the ability to participate this chat (as well as all other chats, discussions, live video interviews, etc. into the future).  You can register your own profile here and avail of all the great benefits which come along with becoming a member of The Wild Geese.

Colin Broderick was raised Irish Catholic in the heart of Northern Ireland. In 1988, at the age of twenty, he moved to the Bronx to drink, work construction, and pursue his dream of becoming a writer. For the next twenty years, as he drank himself into oblivion: there were failed marriages, car wrecks, hospitals and jail cells. Few people who have been a slave to an addiction as vicious, destructive, and unrelenting as Broderick’s have lived to tell their tale. "Orangutan" is the story of an Irish drunk unlike any you’ve met before. Broderick has written a play, "Father Who," and published articles in The Irish Echo, The Irish Voice, and The New York Times.

Colin's latest book, "That's That," is now on bookshelves around the world.  This memoir is set at the beginning of the period of heightened tension and violence known as the Troubles, and Colin's Catholic family lived in the heart of rebel country. The community was filled with Provisional IRA members whose lives depended on the silence and complicity of their neighbors. At times, that made for a confusing childhood. We watch as he and his brothers play ball with the neighbor children over a fence for years, but are never allowed to play together because it is forbidden. We see him struggle to understand why young men from his community often just disappear. And we feel his confusion when he is held at gunpoint at various military checkpoints in the North. But even when Colin does ask his parents about these events, he never receives a clear explanation. Desperate to protect her children, Colin's mother tries to prevent exposure to or knowledge of the harm that surrounds them. Spoken with stern finality, "That's That" became the refrain of Colin's childhood.

The first book to paint a detailed depiction of Northern Ireland's Troubles is presented against a personal backdrop and is told in the wry, memorable voice of a man who's finally come to terms with his past.  It received this favorable review from Irish Central.  Here's what others are saying about "That's That":

''Colin Broderick has that magic touch that allows him to mix comedy and tragedy in just the right proportions.'' --Billy Collins

''I have great admiration for the style and the tenacity and the sheer swerve of Colin Broderick's work.'' --Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author

You can read an excerpt of "That's That" here.

Join us in the Main Room (which can be located along the bottom of the browser window at all times) on Monday the 17th at 3:00 p.m. ET as we get to know Colin as both an author and a fellow-member of The Wild Geese.  Again, if you cannot join us to submit your questions to Colin in real time, leave them in a comment below and we'll be sure we get to them.  The chat transcript will be published here the following day.  Every member who submits a question for Colin will be entered into a drawing for a copy of "That's That."

Members, please take a moment to RSVP to this event by clicking here.

Views: 372

Tags: Books, Chat, IRA, Literature, Members, Troubles

Comment by Gerry Regan on June 17, 2013 at 11:18am

An excerpt from "That's That" which stands out for me:

.. We were lucky that the English were not an incredibly intelligent bunch or they could have ended the whole trouble with the Irish centuries ago. All they really needed to do was cut off our tea supply and the women would have organized a complete surrender by lunchtime. Everyone drank tae, constantly. ... And with the tae came bread and butter and jam. Our diet was simple; if you sat down at the table to eat there was either potato or bread on the plate in front of you. But because the choices were so limited the women took such extra special care in the presentation of those two very basic staples. As a result we became a nation of spud and bread connoisseurs. Nearly every house you entered carried the bouquet of a freshly baked loaf, each one with its own unique aroma and taste ...

I'm finding my quick foray into the book very entertaining and informing. Colin's tone reminds me of Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" but updated to reflect a more contemporary Irish childhood, one complicated by living amid political violence.

... Every evening like clockwork, at six o’clock we sat to din-ner together as a family. We blessed ourselves and a prayer was said and the six o’clock news would start on the televisionbearing its daily confirmation of the trouble that existed allaround us between the Catholics and Protestants in the North.It’s a testament to how accustomed we were to brutality as a nation when such a playful word could be attributed to thedaily massacre that surrounded us; this wasn’t a war, it was a spot of trouble. And perhaps in terms of the horror our smallnation had witnessed for a thousand years it was a fitting titlefor this current phase of our development: the Troubles....

You can read much more from "That's That" at


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