Talking to Sebastian Barry is like digging up the roots of his family tree. I only have to ask the Dublin-born author about his most recent book, last year's On Canaan's Side, and he branches off on a tangent about his grandparents or his youthful road trip across America.
"It shows how terribly one-minded I've been, always writing about the same people," says the 56-year-old. "In a way, they all tie in together because they're about the two sides of my family that didn't unite, as it were, until my parents married, so they kind of swim around in that great pool of relatedness.
"There are still some unwritten books, which will hopefully remain so when the two strands join together, but in that sense they'll all turn out to be related at some point in the future."
Scheduled to visit Auckland in May for the Writers & Readers Festival, Barry was last in New Zealand in 1996 when The Steward of Christendom was staged in Wellington at the International Festival of Arts. "I was enchanted by the place ... I suppose it was that usual thing of it being so far away but so familiar."
Full story at New Zealand Herald