Thomas Kiernan was born in Granard, Co. Longford. He farmed for a few years after secondary school before going to live abroad. He has been writing for most of his adult life. He is married with two grown-up children and lives in Kilkenny.
In these 15 stories Tom Kiernan explores humanity, with all its foibles through a diverse collection of characters. We meet the weak, the strong, the misguided and the downright bad who inhabit both the old and in the new Ireland, urban as well as rural.
Guards escort a neighbour to prison in the 1960's, vagrants and ex-convicts in a hostel plot to get rich, a tailor gives his new jacket an outing in Kilkenny in the company of his Polish girlfriend, a man swaps Dublin for the West of Ireland after the tragic death of his partner, there is a traumatised journalist in war-torn Belfast and a young emigrant returns to the impoverished family farm.
The result is an insightful collection describing the human condition. Violence is intermingled with humour, because even in the darkest places people will find cause, and even a need, to laugh.
Here, indeed, is a powerful new voice in short fiction.
Title Someone I Never Knew
Author Thomas Kiernan
Subject classification Fiction -Short Stories
Format/extent 140x216 mm, 128 pp
Publication date March 2012
Price €12-00 PB
"After he has eaten, showered and changed, he is composed, watching the TV, like everything's all right. And it will be, tomorrow, when he is interviewed by those guards. One of us turns off the TV at around half eleven and we are quiet for a good while, looking at the fire. He looks over at me after a bit, and he has a funny look on his face, a look I'd never seen before.
‘I know you're strong, Marie,' he says. And I know I'd gone too far earlier on.
‘I never imagined you like that,' he says then.
‘Like what, Bill?' I say.
‘Like a stranger. Like someone I never knew.'
And the way he looks at me, I know he means it."