THE KINDNESS OF PLACE
The Kindness of Place, published by leading Irish publishers, Gill & Macmillan, celebrates twenty years in West Cork and follows on Enright’s acclaimed book, A Place Near Heaven.
For the amateur naturalist, there is always something new. The tide washes in and out, bringing its tide-wrack and By-the-Wind sailors; once, it carried a huge whale onto the strand. A fledgling heron, falling from its nest, had to be adopted by the family or it would not survive.
The benevolence of nature and the good nature of the local people pervades this book, a tribute to the kindness to be found in this place. In recent years, ‘development’ came and went, but the character of the local people remains unchanged: the sons and daughters grow to adulthood, as good-natured as their parents. The Enrights, once ‘blow-ins’, are now neighbours.
“Of the shore birds, the dunlin, barely bigger than house sparrows, are especially spectacular. Over the muddy channels of the bay, they rise and fall like phrases in a symphony, slow now as they ascend, fast as they fall, swooping and sweeping in undulations, suddenly rising from horizontal to vertical, a pillar of birds expanding and contracting like a concertina or one of those Christmas decorations we take out each year. I stand enthralled; they take my breath away.”
‘In May, as the days warm up and the rain of the winter stops, we begin to see what Marie calls The Timoleague Outdoor Social Club, a small group of not-so-young men in caps and hats, sitting in the sun on the new, brightly painted benches beside the Abbey, with a pleasant view of the bridge and the waters of the lovely Argideen.’
‘Damien Enright’s place is West Cork, and many have enjoyed his serial accounts of that lush and lively coast and its wildlife. The Kindness of Place (Gill Macmillan, €16.99) follows local nature through a year, as meshed with his own busy ventures in and around Courtmacsherry. A personal chronicle, vividly and intimately told.’
Michael Viney, Irish Times
‘Few are able to wander as creatively as Damien Enright; in life he has ‘been there, done that’, while in prose he is a master of digression. He wouldn’t want to live anywhere in the world but West Cork. For at least as long as it takes you to read The Kindness of Place — and probably much longer — you won’t either.’
Jean O’Brien, Walking World Ireland
‘Enright has a gift for writing about nature — he is concrete, detailed, not afraid of lyricism, but never lush. The Kindness of Place is a love letter to what he calls “a place near heaven” and a celebration of the simple pleasures of nature.’
Bridgid Hourican, Evening Herald
‘This book is an inspirational antidote to the depressing greyness and gloom of the present economic climate. The irrepressibly joyous celebration of the ever-changing beauty of West Cork and its people is evocative and lyrical but also insightful, funny and moving.’
Marion Reynolds, Evening Echo
‘His writing is informative, lyrical, occasionally polemical but always engaging.’
Jackie Keogh, Southern Star
‘Damien Enright is a fantastic writer. The fact that he is also well-read means that his work is seasoned with literary references and is full of quirky facts about life. His life, West Cork life, wildlife and life in general.’
Tim Severin, award-winning author and adventurer
‘A wonderful bonus to the book is “The Heron Diaries”, a fascinating account of how the Enright family rescued and raised a fledgling heron. Although they were careful not to domesticate “Ron”, he regularly returns to be be fed in the garden of their home.’
Marion Reynolds, Evening Echo