President of Sinn Féin and TD for Louth, Gerry Adams has been a published writer since 1982. His books have won critical acclaim in many quarters and have been widely translated. His writings range from local history and reminiscence to politics and short stories, and they include the fullest and most authoritative exposition of modern Irish republicanism.
Born in West Belfast in 1948 into a family with close ties to both the trade union and republican movements, Gerry Adams is the eldest of ten children. His mother was an articulate and gentle woman, his father a republican activist who had been jailed at the age of sixteen, and he was partly reared by his grandmother, who nurtured in him a love of reading.
His childhood, despite its material poverty, he has described in glowing and humorous terms, recollecting golden hours spent playing on the slopes of the mountain behind his home and celebrating the intimate sense of community in the tightly packed streets of working-class West Belfast. But even before leaving school to work as a barman, he had become aware of the inequities and inequalities of life in the north of Ireland. Soon he was engaged in direct action on the issues of housing, unemployment and civil rights.
For many years his voice was banned from radio and television by both the British and Irish governments, while commentators and politicians condemned him and all he stood for. But through those years his books made an important contribution to an understanding of the true circumstances of life and politics in the north of Ireland.
James F. Clarity of the New York Times described him in the Irish Independent as "A good writer of fiction whose stories are not IRA agitprop but serious art."
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Black Mountain - and other stories
A unique political manifesto at a crucial moment from the leading figure in Irish Republicanism. Adams outlines the challenge of transforming Irish society through a vision of self-determination and sovereignty, inclusiveness and equality.
In this collection, one of Ireland’s best-known political figures brings us stories of politics, of family, of love and of friendship. These are portraits of Ireland, and especially Belfast, old and new, in times of struggle and in times of peace, showing how our past is always part of our present.
Is the unique inside story, revealing the truth behind the headlines of how the peace process was begun, and brought to fruition. Adams conveys the tensions, the sense of teetering on the brink, and he has a sharp eye and acute ear for the more humorous foibles of political allies and enemies alike.
Adams was interned on the Maidstone prison ship and in Long Kesh prison - without charge or trial - during the 1970s for his political activities. Cage Eleven is his own account - sometimes passionate, often humorous - of life in Long Kesh. Written while Adams was a prisoner, the pieces were smuggled out for publication.
Gerry Adams offers his own unique, intimate account of the early years of his career, from his childhood in working-class Belfast to the more turbulent years of social activism that followed. Updated with new introduction and epilogue covering the huge changes in Irish society since the Good Friday Agreement.