"A terrific achievement, thoughtful and compelling, smart and original, beautifully written." --Nick Hornby
"Astonishing. . . a landmark in Irish nonfiction. . . a masterpiece." -- Washington Post
A deeply moving and critically acclaimed memoir about a young boy growing up in 1950's Dublin with a German mother and fiercely republican Irish father.
Born to an Irish father and German mother, Hugo Hamilton and his brother and sister grew up being just about the only children in 1950's Dublin wearing Aran sweaters and Lederhosen. Their father, a Gaelic speaking Irish nationalist, forbid them from talking to their friends in English. And their mother, a soft-spoken immigrant who escaped late 1930s Nazi Germany, baked German cakes and told wistful stories of a country that no longer existed.
For Hugo, childhood seemed like an ongoing struggle to understand what it meant to be "one of the speckled people"--his father's phrase to describe "the New Irish, partly from Ireland and partly from somewhere else." A rare and shockingly honest account of a child's attempt to make sense of his family, language and identity, The Speckled People stands among the most fiercely original memoirs to emerge this decade.