Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Belfast

This evening, I was looking up a bunch of old pieces online, scouring for writing samples worth filing away, and I came across the first essay I wrote after finishing the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2006.

I had clean forgotten about this one. Hopefully I haven't yet hit the peak of my powers and I will gradually learn to master the long-form narrative; nonetheless it is apparent to me now that the program has had a dramatic impact on my work. Considering how hard I can be on myself sometimes, it makes me proud to think I could write so well (albeit infrequently) at 26.

An excerpt:

"The Terror tour is popular here," he says. I like his cynicism. Most operators are usually sensitive about the use of the word terror; they prefer the term "Troubles" without the pejorative connotations. "Derry was bad, but the violence in Belfast was worse," Keogh continues, as if holding out the tacit promise of a value-for-money tour.

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