Amnesiac: A Memoir / Neil Jordan

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A haunted record of a life devoted to the visual art of the cinema and the written word, by Ireland's greatest director and one of her finest novelists.In this vivid, moving and strange memoir, Neil Jordan – the author of classic fiction like The PastSunrise with Sea Monster and Night in Tunisia, and the creator of celebrated movies like AngelMona LisaThe Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire – reaches deep into his own past and that of his family. His mother was a painter, his father an inspector of schools who was visited by ghosts, and Jordan grew up on the edge of an abandoned aristocratic estate in north Dublin whose mysterious ruins fed his imagination. Passionate about music, he played in bands and theatre groups and met, at University College Dublin, a young radical called Jim Sheridan.

Together they staged unforgettable dramatic productions that hinted at their future careers. His first collection of stories and first novel, Night in Tunisia and The Past, were met with acclaim, but Jordan was also drawn to the freedom and visual richness of film, and worked with the great English director John Boorman on his Arthurian epic Excalibur. His own first movie with Stephen Rea, Angel, was a brilliant angular take on the horrific violence of the Troubles, and in the years since then his films have combined in a unique way, intense supernatural elements with reflections on violence and sexuality.

Jordan describes his work with Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Bob Hoskins, Tom Cruise and many others, but this is not a conventional story of life in the movies. The book is an eerie meditation on loss, love and creativity, on inspiration and influence, by one of the most unusual artists Ireland has produced.