Gallows mingles black comedy with melodrama to probe the underside of Irish and English history from the 17th century to the 21st.
John Arden, now entering his 80th year, has produced another glorious collection of stories. Gallows mingles black comedy with melodrama to probe the underside of Irish and English history from the 17th century to the 21st. The title-piece is a ghost story set in contemporary Galway: a nightmare of ghastly slaughter resurfacing from the era of the Penal Laws.
Arden has lost none of his vigour or curious imagination since his notable plays, Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance (1959) or The Non-Stop Connolly Show (co-written and co-produced with Margaretta D’Arcy in 1975). His first novel, Silence Among The Weapons, was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He won the PEN Short Story Prize for his collection, Cogs Tyrannic; and the V.S.Pritchett Memorial Prize for the tale Breach Of Trust, included in The Stealing Steps (2003).
Arden was born and reared in Yorkshire and has lived in Galway for over four decades.
Praise for John Arden’s most recent work, The Stealing Steps
‘A continuing communication between the real world and the mythological.’ - Times Literary Supplement (Simon Conway)
‘…almost impossible to escape the energy of these stories … reach the end of the narration and say “Wow!”’ - Galway Advertiser (Des Kenny)
‘This unruly collection of confessions, reckonings and betrayals flails at Ireland’s precarious relations with Britain and itself, at frightened states policing their own people.’
The book is accompanied by a DVD of a short documentary of Arden talking about his influences, and about his own illustrations of episodes in Gallows; filmed and produced by his son Finn Arden.