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Blood Dark Track

In conversation with David Kipen
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Episode Summary
O'Neill, a former barrister and PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of the novel Netherland has written a brilliant inquiry propelled by the unexplained incarcerations of both his grandfathers (one Irish, one Turkish) during the Second World War.

Participant(s) Bio
Joseph O'Neill was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1964 and grew up in Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Holland. For many years, he worked as a barrister in London. His works include the novels This is The Life, The Breezes, and Netherland (2006), which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. He also wrote Blood-Dark Track, a memoir about his grandfathers who were both imprisoned during World War II, which was a New York Times Notable Book.

David Kipen is author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History, and translator of Cervantes' The Dialogue of the Dogs. Until January 2010, he was the Literature Director of the National Endowment of the Arts, where he directed the Big Read and the Guadalajara Book Festival initiatives. He also served from 1998 to 2005 as book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. His introductions to the WPA Guides to Los Angeles and San Francisco are forthcoming. In July of 2010 he opened a lending library/used bookstore in the Jewish-turned-Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, called Libros Schmibros.