Swallowing the Sun – David Parks

first_imgMartin is a man of destiny – or at least we are assured as much with mounting insistence throughout Swallowing the Sun. He has escaped, by dint of stubborn grit, from his brutal childhood in a Belfast slum, but in his new middle-class existence he feels awkward and uncomfortable. He is suspicious of this bourgeoisie to which he suddenly belongs, and is overawed by money and soft furnishings. Furthermore, he has an old taste for violence (instilled of course by his father) that is only lying dormant. And when things in the cosy family unit start to fall apart, the old horror returns. David Parks makes so much of these tragic totems that you feel, after a while, like enquiring as to the precise nature of Martin’s relations with his mother, and whether he has consulted an oracle recently. But to give away anything much of the plot would be to spoil the most enjoyable aspect of this novel. Parks tells a good yarn, and the pace of the narrative mounts steadily and effectively, even if it seems to lack an ending. But Parks isn’t content just to say what happens next; he wants to have a deep and meaningful dialogue with you. Sometimes this means that he overloads sentences, describing characters’ thoughts with overweight diction, as when Martin has a moment of reflection in the school hall. However, Parks can show great sensitivity to the significance of places and objects; a mobile phone that reappears several times, effectively registers the shifting boundary between public and private speech in the novel. The objects in Martin’s museum form a lapidary bulwark against the ravages of time and Martin’s demons. David Parks might sometimes sound like he’s swallowed a thesaurus rather than the sun, but he writes compellingly when telling a story and not thinking about fate. Bloomsbury, hardback, £14.99ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

Celebrating the 2017 DE Award winners

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit Union Development Educators (DEs) around the world are doing incredible work to “keep purpose constant” in the credit union movement. Individuals who graduate from DE Training commit volunteer and professional time to take the credit union message to audiences throughout the world, enhancing the credit union movement and improving people’s financial lives.Each year, we celebrate some of these inspirational individuals and projects through the DE Awards. We recognize the work and impact that DEs are having within the movement, on a local and sometimes even international level.  We are so excited to announce this year’s winners and we encourage all CUDEs to celebrate with them when they are honored at the awards banquet during this year’s DE Workshop happening July 11-13 in Tampa, Florida!Individual Achievement Award – Brandi Stankovic, CUDE Class of  2003Since becoming a DE in 2003, Brandi has volunteered and engaged with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). She has been instrumental in the World Council of Credit Unions Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN). Although the roots of the initiative are global, in the last several years she helped launch Sister Societies. She is the US Sister Society Ambassador and is responsible for initiating and engaging women across the US. These act as local chapters of the global network and allow for women in the credit union industry to make a measurable difference in the lives of fellow women in credit unions, employees, members and the community. GWLN has become a premier program of WOCCU with 1,200 members, 46 scholarships, 33 Sister Societies in 28 countries and financial education to more than 8,000 members throughout Asia. continue reading »last_img read more