Barry rides high on epic western

Manila Times - - MAGAZINE - BY FI­ACHRA GIB­BONS AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE AFP PHOTO I. DACANAY Jan­uary 14, 2018 PHOTO BY ALVIN

Se­bas­tian Barry ship with his boyfriend.

“Maybe be­cause they are of the same gen­der, they know things about each other, the physics, the in­ner knowl­edge of the heart and soul. They are at­ten­tive to each other in an al­most math­e­mat­i­cal way,” he said.

ago to grap­ple with the “his­tor­i­cal tragedy of an Ir­ish per­son, es­sen­tially an abo­rig­i­nal, be­ing forced to go to Amer­ica, join­ing the US Army and tak­ing part in the de­struc­tion of the Na­tive Amer­i­can peo­ple, who were not un­like him­self.” But he aban­doned the novel. The leg­endary chron­i­cler of the West, Peter Matthiessen, the au­thor of “The Snow Leop­ard,” of­fered to help. “’Come talk to me when the smoke clears,’ he told me,” Barry said.

“I never did and when he died I thought, ‘I have to do it now.’”

The book, Barry said, is partly a plea to “our lovely Amer­i­can friends about ac­cept­ing that their coun­try is founded on a geno­cide,” as Matthiessen long in­sisted.

“It’s not blam­ing, it’s psy­chi­atric. It’s just good for men­tal health,” Barry ar­gued.

Yet, his book could not be more Amer­i­can in that its great themes are sur­vival and re­demp­tion, de­spite the worst that hu­mans can do.

But Barry laughed off “some peo­ple call­ing it a great Amer­i­can novel writ­ten by an Ir­ish­man.”

“Some­times you go to New York and you get dis­cov­ered, then they re­dis­cover you again 20 years later. The lit­er­ary mem­ory is short, and it is not sur­pris­ing, given the end­less freight train of books that get pub­lished,” he said.

“Still, it’s a lovely feel­ing that the cir­cus just doesn’t want you for a week­end,” he added. A copy of “Days With­out End” in a lo­cal book­store

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