As a young Ulster woman, Margo Gorman marched for civil rights while studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast (1968-1972) with Seamus Heaney as one of her tutors. Developing and managing projects for Save the Children; equality campaigns; research on interculturalism at Manchester University, followed by networking community projects across Europe consumed her creative energy for many decades.
Her life experience, her cross-community work and published non-fiction have fuelled Margo Gorman’s passion for exploring untold stories of inequality and oppression through fictional characters. Returning to her roots she took time out to write novels from her base in Donegal. Encouraged by membership of the Irish Writers’ Centre, a Cross Borders network and the local Tir Conaill Writers’ Group, she has published two novels and blogs on margogorman.com.
Axel is an architect in Lille and the son of transgender Michel-Michelle, his birth mother Amelia and her partner, Naomi. Potential fatherhood brings back memories of his childhood as he recalls his relationship with his ‘three mothers’ and the mix of French and English in his identity. Challenged by his relationship with his partner, Sophie, he reflects on transition
from male to female, from child to adult, from France to England. Birth, death and suicide mingle in his notebooks and dreams. The novel opens when he has a few days alone in the holiday home of his deceased paternal grandmother to decide what to do with the neglected house. Michel-Michelle challenges fixed notions of gender identity. The novel is a homage to pioneers of diversity and a timely contribution to current discussions of gender fluidity.
Bone and Blood
Margo Gorman’s first novel. Bone and Blood, (Matador ISBN978-1784620-370) was shortlisted for the Virginia Woolf prize before publication. This novel was inspired by the discovery that two Irish women had been imprisoned in Ravensbrueck concentration camp during the Second World War and by commitment to the stories of survivors. Whilst based on extensive research, the story of how Brigitte,an Irish woman from Leitrim, was imprisoned in Ravensvbruek, has the licence of a fictional plot and characters. The arrival of a grand-niece from Dublin for the funeral of Brigitte’s daughter triggers a relationship which releases the past into the present. Available from www.books.ie with flatrate shipping worldwide.