The Anals of Ballyturdeen

John Morrow

About the book…

Ireland is the place God set aside for satirists. Elsewhere, when people speak of history 'repeating itself' they mean in millennia, centuries, or, at least, decades. In the council chamber of John Morrow's Ballyturdeen (literal translation 'townland of the little turds'), however, history is regurgitated weekly with all the muzzle velocity of an unhealthy bowel movement. There, where the standard bearers of Ireland's two traditions have never in living memory managed to progress beyond the first item on any agenda without resorting to Grievous Bodily Harm.

‘Humour,’ writes P.J. O'Rourke, ‘has nothing to do with the charming or the cheerful...Humour is our response to the void of absurdity.’

In The Anals of Ballyturdeen, absurdity is voided in copious quantities.

Photo of the author, John Morrow

About the author…

John Morrow was born in Belfast in 1930.  After leaving school at the age of 14, he worked in the shipyard, as a navvy, an insurance agent and an arts administrator. 

He began writing short stories in the 1960s and his first work was published in the Honest Ulsterman and the Irish Press. A well-known local humorist, he has published three novels: Confessions of Prionsias O’Toole(1977),The Essex Factor(1982) and The Anals of Ballyturdeen (1996). 

As a short story writer he has produced two collections: Northern Myths(1979) andSects and Other Stories(1987) and a collection of short autobiographical pieces: Pruck: A Life in Bits and Pieces(1999).