Watching the Door: A Memoir 1971-1978
By: Kevin Myers
As an Irish Catholic raised in Leicester, fresh from University College Dublin with a first in History, Kevin Myers is sent north to work for the Belfast bureau of RTE News. There he covers the increasingly vicious conflict erupting in the city as the IRA campaign begins. Reporting too for Dublin’s Hibernia, the London Observer and NBC Radio for North America, Kevin Myers becomes the eyes and ears for an uncomprehending world, chronicling the collapse of Northern Irish society, from internment to the La Mon bombing.
Raw, candid and courageous, Watching the Door documents the deeds of loyalist gangs, provos, paratroopers, politicians, British agents and an indomitable citizenry, forming a remarkable double portrait of a divided society and an emergent self – a witness to humanity, and inhumanity, on both sides of a sectarian faultline.
In his wonderfully vivid, trenchant, first-hand account of life on the streets of Belfast during the height of the Troubles, a young Kevin Myers witnesses the blood fueds and chaos of a people on the brink of civil war. His descriptions of violence, counter-violence and emotional free-fall, combine humour with reflection, eros with thanatos; they render history in the making.
By interweaving the political and the personal in a tale at once self-deprecating, poignant and sexually buoyant, Watching the Door is a coming-of-age story like no other. It is evocative and passionate, and it records a pivotal time in Ireland’s recent past, blending articulacy with savage indignation in a classic of modern reportage.
KEVIN MYERS, writer, broadcaster and novelist (Banks of Green Willow, 2001), is author of the best-selling Kevin Myers (2001), a gathering of his celebrated and provocative Irishman’s Diary in The Irish Times, for whom he wrote for over twenty-five years (another collection will appear from The Lilliput Press in 2007). He is now a columnist with the Irish Independent .