A fortnight to go, and the pulse begins to beat a little more excitedly. This will be the first time in my life when my audience will be paying to hear me speak (don't be too concerned; at a cost of £5 per ticket it's less than the price of a coffee and cake). I shall do my best to make it a worthwhile 90 minutes - and remember the title of my talk is Dying to Know - The Power of Hope. I will be delivering a message shaped by my natural optimism. Here's a link to the online ticket office: press here
|Penzance Literary Festival Fringe - Redwing Gallery - summer of 2017|
I don't want to give too much away, but the talk is shaped by my latest book that was published at the end of February this year: Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic. When I first became aware of the threat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in January 2020, I was concerned but had no idea of what lay ahead. The consequences of misgovernment in the UK had yet to take shape. Today, as we approach the end of June 2022, around thirty months later, I know that very nearly 200,000 British citizens have died with COVID-19 on their death certificate. That, per head of population, is about the same awful deathtoll as in the USA where 1 million COVID deaths have now been recorded - the US population is about five times ours. Both Trump and Johnson have been guilty of what Engels termed 'social murder' - however, 'administrative malfeasance' might have more chance of being recognized as the legal charge in the anglophone world.
On page 17 of Dying to Know I write:
'Our current malaise has such deep roots. On Wednesday, 29 January, England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, declared that the UK was well prepared for the coronavirus outbreak. That was not true.'
On 10 March 2022, I published the first of very many blogposts that focused on this tragic mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic - here is a link to them.
I certainly had my head full of fears and uncertainties as I followed my running routine through the months of 2020 and into the beginning of 2021, up and down my local circuit from home to Little Trevalgan and back again.
Out of all those thoughts came the material for the book I decided to begin writing in March 2020. A year later, it was complete - and a further year on, it has been published.
|Front and back cover (with reviews)|
Here is the Advance Information flyer:
|Publication was delayed by a month - the book was released on 28 February 2022.|
And here are the thoughts of a Matador editor, reflecting on my work.
|A Matador editor's review|
Here is a link to the website page where you can read nine more reviews and order a copy. Much better for my royalties if you buy through my publishers, Matador, rather than Amazon. I get about £5 more, per copy sold. You could of course get a signed copy from me, direct - just let me know. My website at www.robdonovan-author.co.uk has further details.
By now, you will have picked up a sense of my anger at what has happened. So what are the grounds for the hope that appears in the title of my talk? Yes, please come and hear the answer to that question in person. Join the audience in a fortnight. But here are some tasters, taken directly from the pages of Dying to Know:
From the end of Chapter 1: 'We are in this for the long haul. very few realise yet but read the runes ... We need to understand, and we need hope. It is good that hope is a quality embedded within us as humans. Life in the bubble will have some cheer.'
From Chapter 3, Summit Thoughts: 'Hope, I reflect at this turning point, is my essence. May it be for all those who value humanity.'
From Chapter 5, Global Matters: 'I am, you see, putting my trust and my hope in the survival instinct of the species. if you do not, you remain part of the problem.'
From chapter 11, A Christmas Epiphany: 'Let me leave you with a message of hope that Modern Monetary Theory inspires in me.'
On that tantalizing note, let me bid you au revoir. It would be cool to see you in person for my talk in the Coach House in a fortnight's time.