REVIEW by Amy McCauley

NWR Issue 101

Call Mother a Lonely Field

by Liam Carson

Liam Carson’s Call Mother a Lonely Field is a memoir of a very strange kind. Although it features some of the standard characteristics of memoir: family narrative, the odd humorous anecdote, photographs, etc, the book is much more than the sum of its parts, chiefly because Carson turns the usual chronological format inside out. Time here is fluid; like memory, it doesn’t simply represent the accumulation of events in a sequential manner. Carson instead puts forward an alternative view – one popularised by JW Dunne – which argues that ‘all time is eternally present. In other words, the past, present and future co- exist.’ Carson goes on to suggest that ‘we exist on two levels, both inside and outside time.’ This idea is absolutely central: it relates not simply to the philosophical atmosphere but to the structure of the text, which embodies the very concept it proposes...

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previous review: A Great Big Shining Star
next review: RS Thomas, Uncollected Poems



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