Borders of the mind

“Do the Nordies and Free Staters even like each other and what does it mean for Irish unity?” Read more here.

This Irish Times article probes some burning questions arising from the Brexit debate. What do Free Staters even know about life in the north, and how it was to grow up there in the 80s and 90s? The question is explored and exploited to humorous effect in the hugely successful Derry Girls, as journalist Frank MacNally points out. It’s something that comes up in Language Games, the novel I’m currently working on, as the underlying theme of alterities feeds the narrative. Grace, the protaganist from the north of Ireland, finds that university friends in England want to claim her “Is your passport Irish or British?” while friends from Dublin unwittingly make her feel like an outsider when introducing her as “Grace from the North”.

Having lived in both England and the Republic of Ireland, I’ve always been intrigued by how I was perceived and received.

Little borders of the mind…

‘Derry Girls offers a telling depiction of a southerner in the North.’ Photograph: Channel 4