Gabriel Byrne Walking With Ghosts: A Memoir


Code 9781529027457
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Walking with Ghosts is the stunningly evocative memoir by Irish actor and Hollywood star, Gabriel Byrne.

As a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne sought refuge in a world of imagination among the fields and hills near his home, at the edge of a rapidly encroaching city. Born to working-class parents and the eldest of six children, he harboured a childhood desire to become a priest.

When he was eleven years old, Byrne found himself crossing the Irish Sea to join a seminary in England. Four years later, Byrne had been expelled and he quickly returned to his native city. There he took odd jobs as a messenger boy and a factory labourer to get by. In his spare time he visited the cinema, where he could be alone and yet part of a crowd. It was here that he could begin to imagine a life beyond the grey world of '60s Ireland.

He revelled in the theatre and poetry of Dublin's streets, populated by characters as eccentric and remarkable as any in fiction, those who spin a yarn with acuity and wit. It was a friend who suggested Byrne join an amateur drama group, a decision that would change his life forever and launch him on an extraordinary forty-year career in film and theatre.

Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and on Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame.

Walking with Ghosts is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.

About the Author

Gabriel Byrne was born in Dublin and has starred in over eighty films for some of the cinema's leading directors. He won a Golden Globe for his performance on HBO's In Treatment. On Broadway he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and has been nominated twice for the Tony Award. He lives in Manhattan and Maine. Walking With Ghosts is his memoir.

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'The wonder of this memoir is its unembellished truth. It is written by a man whose amazing story is the stuff of literature'
- Edna O'Brien

'So beautiful, it seems extraordinary that [Byrne] has kept this light under a bushel all this time . . . Gorgeous'
- Graham Norton, BBC Radio 2

'An absolutely marvellous book . . . beautifully written, poetic . . . it's a really riveting read'
- Colm Toibin

'Gabriel Byrne has written the most beautiful memoir. This is haunting prose and wondrous, sad, uplifting, my book of the year'
- Claire Keegan

'Walking With Ghosts is lavish with lyricism, but presents a pretty unvarnished version of its author . . . The book is also a conscious departure: stylistically ambitious, purposefully (and successfully) so.'
- The Guardian

'Thoughtful, moving and without a trace of self-indulgence, this honest and beautifully-written book reads more like a novel than a memoir, drawing the reader into a narrative that is full of courage, humour and above all, humanity. I really loved Walking with Ghosts and can't recommend it highly enough.'
- Christine Dwyer Hickey

'Imagine Seamus Heaney's eye falling on Hollywood's glare . . . it really did remind me of Seamus Heaney, it seemed to have that very sharp focus and also that wonderfully lyrical way of expressing it.'
- Richard Coles, BBC Radio 4


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