May the Lord in His Mercy Be Kind to Belfast

Tony Parker, Author
Tony Parker, Author Henry Holt & Company $25 (358p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3053-2
Paperback - 978-0-8050-3806-4
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Parker ( Russian Voices ) has compiled an involving collection of some 60 vignettes profiling both Catholics and Protestants on the struggle in Belfast. Upon his arrival, the British writer had to learn the subtleties that mark and separate the two religious groups. Belfast people will never ask outright which you are, but they will look for clues. Parker interviews Vicky Murray, who doesn't follow any religion but is ``afraid because I don't know what's going on.'' There's Catholic Rose Murphy, whose 17-year-old son under threat from the Protestant militia fled to London. Pat Taylor is the product of a ``mixed'' marriage and still thinks every day of his younger brother who was killed in sectarian fighting. Sammy Wilson is a Belfast City Councillor and Democratic Unionist who proudly recalls the siege of Londonderry in 1690 and calls Catholics ``fascists.'' Eamon Collins is a Republican terrorist who spent time ``on the blanket'' in Long Kesh prison and considers himself ``100% anti-British.'' Parker's interviewing technique, which is reminiscent of Studs Terkel's Working , supplies the reader with a valuable guide to one of the most tortured cities in the world. (Apr.)
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