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Kindling Ashes-bookcover

By: Stephen Rowley

Kindling Ashes

Pages: 206 Ratings:
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Spanning fifty pivotal years of the Northern Ireland Troubles, this novel weaves personal histories with national events—from the 1969 torching of Bombay Street to the 2019 commemoration of that fateful day. Through an intimate lens, the Dunmurry Train bombing, Omagh attack, and other harrowing milestones unfold.

As the final instalment in a trilogy of poetry and prose about the Troubles, this work captures their tragic yet humorous essence with wider scope and more conclusive understanding. Sombre yet insightful, the novel traces one family’s journey through the violence as they try to make sense of Northern Ireland’s bloody history. From the uneasy beginnings in 1969 to the reflective memorials decades later, their story confronts the past while moving uncertainly toward peace.

Stephen Rowley was born and lived in Belfast until 1972. In Belfast, he attended Annadale Grammar School. After a BA from Essex University (1975), he was awarded a PhD by Manchester University (1979). Stephen’s other degrees are: PGCE in TESOL (London University; Maîtrise (Bordeaux University) and Habilitation (Paris University). He was appointed Professor of English at Artois University (France) in 2008 where he worked as Vice-President (International Affairs) for five years. Stephen was then recruited by the prestigious Sun Yat-sen University, China, as part of the ‘100 Talents Programme’ and became Director of the European Centre there. He edited and wrote an introduction to European Perceptions of China and Perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative (Brill, 2021) as well as writing more than 60 academic artices published in journals in the UK, US, France, Italy and China, and several works of fiction and poetry. His latest book of short stories The Woman from the Other Side was published in December 2023 by Austin Macauley.

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