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Description - Rory and Ita by Roddy Doyle

Ita Doyle: 'In all my life I have lived in two houses, had two jobs, and one husband. I'm a very interesting person' Rory & Ita, Roddy Doyle's first non-fiction book, tells - largely in their own words - the story of his parents' lives. They remember every detail of their Dublin childhoods - the people, the politics, idyllic times in the Wexford countryside for Ita, Rory's apprenticeship as a printer. By the time they put down a deposit of two hundred pounds for a house in Kilbarrack, Rory was working as a compositor at the Irish Independent. By the time the first of their four children was born he'd become a teacher, at the School of Printing in Dublin. Kilbarrack began to change, and Ireland too. Through their eyes we see the intensely Catholic society of their youth being transformed into the vibrant, modern Ireland of today. Both are marvellous talkers, so combined with Roddy Doyle's legendary skill in illuminating ordinary experience, Rory & Ita makes for a book of tremendous warmth and humanity.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099449225
ISBN-10: 0099449226
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Rory and Ita by Roddy Doyle

UK Kirkus Review » Rory and Ita Doyle are Roddy Doyle's parents, a remarkable pair whose memories make up almost the entirety of this book, veteran Irish novelist Roddy Doyle's first work of non-fiction. Roddy's only address to the reader is in the short, paragraph-long preface. The remainder of the book is essentially a verbatim account of his parents' lives, recounted in the first person in turn and supplemented by footnotes where necessary. It may not sound like much, but this is one of the liveliest biographies published this year. The evidence on the page suggests that Rory and Ita are formidable raconteurs with prodigious memories. In every detail, whether it's the cut of the clothes they wore as children in Terenure or the midges that bit them in Bayside, their stories are rich with detail and wholehearted emotion. Broadly speaking, Ita tells mainly of family and neighbours whereas Rory remembers their lives together, his career as a printer, teacher and organizational executive, and the changing political lie of the land. Every page is a revelation, tender and in good humour. Heartbreaking moments, like the loss of their prematurely born baby, bump elbows with instances of near-surreal hilarity. Together they span about 80 years of personal history set against an Ireland just coming into itself. It has been a good life for both of them, and Roddy Doyle aims to celebrate that goodness. After a spell in hospital following a heart attack, a priest asks Rory if he'd like to take confession. He replies, 'No. At this stage in my life, all the sins I'd like to commit, I've neither the money nor the inclination for.' Together, the Doyles make this book a joy to read, and a remarkable tribute to ordinary virtues. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine acclaimed novels, one collection of short stories and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His last book, The Dead Republic, was the final volume in the Henry Smart trilogy.

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