November 2018

Over The Backyard Wall

By: Thomas Kilroy

According to Thomas Kilroy, his captivating memoir materialized in response to a cataract operation in 2006, shocking his memory into being and imparting him with a uniquely tactile and sensuous perception of his own past.

Over the Backyard Wall describes a coming of age embodied by escape, self-discovery and a struggle to contend with the rigid culture of a small Irish town in Co. Kilkenny during WWII, with parents representing both sides of the civil war conflict of the 1920s.

In keeping with Kilroy’s previous works, Over the Backyard Wall utilizes the silences of the past to liberate the imagination, making use of social and political history to reinvigorate the shard-like nature of his own narrative memory.

Thomas Kilroy was born in Callan, Co. Kilkenny and studied at University College Dublin. He was play editor at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and later sat on the board of Field Day Theatre Company. He became Professor of English at UCG. He is currently living in Mayo and is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, Aosdána and the Irish Academy of Letters.