CAGE ELEVEN

By
Gerry Adams
Cage Eleven

Adams was interned on the Maidstone prison ship and in Long Kesh prison - without charge or trial - during the 1970s for his political activities. Cage Eleven is his own account - sometimes passionate, often humorous - of life in Long Kesh. Written while Adams was a prisoner, the pieces were smuggled out for publication.

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Long before he became President of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams was a civil-rights activist who led sit-ins, marches and protests in Northern Ireland. Along with hundreds of other men, Adams was interned on the Maidstone prison ship and in Long Kesh prison - without charge or trial - during the 1970s for his political activities. Cage Eleven is his own account - sometimes passionate, often humorous - of life in Long Kesh. Written while Adams was a prisoner, the pieces were smuggled out for publication.

'This book is important, not only because it comes from a key player in the Irish political scene, but also because it offers a unique insight into the experience that shaped the consciousness and attitudes of the present generation of Irish republicans - the experience of internment. It offers, too, an unrivalled representation of the resilience and humour that were as much a part of the life of the political prisoner as the adherence to a set of political ideals.' Irish Herald

President of Sinn Féin and TD for Louth, Gerry Adams has been a published writer since 1982. His books have won critical acclaim in many quarters and have been widely translated. His writings range from local history and reminiscence to politics and short stories, and they include the fullest and most authoritative exposition of modern Irish republicanism.

Born in West Belfast in 1948 into a family with close ties to both the trade union and republican movements, Gerry Adams is the eldest of ten children. His mother was an articulate and gentle woman, his father a republican activist who had been jailed at the age of sixteen, and he was partly reared by his grandmother, who nurtured in him a love of reading.

His childhood, despite its material poverty, he has described in glowing and humorous terms, recollecting golden hours spent playing on the slopes of the mountain behind his home and celebrating the intimate sense of community in the tightly packed streets of working-class West Belfast. But even before leaving school to work as a barman, he had become aware of the inequities and inequalities of life in the north of Ireland. Soon he was engaged in direct action on the issues of housing, unemployment and civil rights.

For many years his voice was banned from radio and television by both the British and Irish governments, while commentators and politicians condemned him and all he stood for. But through those years his books made an important contribution to an understanding of the true circumstances of life and politics in the north of Ireland.

James F. Clarity of the New York Times described him in the Irish Independent as "A good writer of fiction whose stories are not IRA agitprop but serious art."

Evocative and often witty cameos of prison life

Times Literary Supplement

Quite brilliant

Books Ireland

When the work of most of the participants in literature's yearly orgy of hype and hysteria has been consigned to history, Adams's slim volume will be alive and well.

Sunday Press
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Other books by this author
  • An Irish Eye
  • An Irish Journal
  • An Irish Voice
  • Hope and History

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