Irish Times columnist and local resident, Michael Harding, will be signing copies of his bestselling autobiography ‘Staring at Lakes’ at The Reading Room Bookshop, Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday, May 3 at 2pm.
Throughout his life Michael Harding, a well-known Irish columnist and playwright, has lived with a pervading sense of emptiness which he tried to fill, first with religion– entering the priesthood when he was 24, and then seventeen years
practising Buddhism. But through faith, marriage, fatherhood and his career as a writer, the sense of darkness and unease remained.
When he was 58 he became physically ill, and fell into a deep melancholy. Here, in his beautifully written memoir, he talks with humour and honesty about his journey: leaving the priesthood in his thirties, settling in Leitrim with his artist wife, the depression which eventually consumed him in the months during and following his illness, and how he ultimately found peace and redemption through the acceptance of love, and recognising the importance of now.
Staring at Lakes started out as a book about depression - a middle-aged man living in Ireland in the wake of the Celtic Tiger. Then it became a story about growing old, the essence of love and marriage, and sitting in cars, staring at lakes.
Michael Harding was born in County Cavan, six of his plays have been produced by the Abbey for numerous other Irish theatre companies. He is the author of three novels: Priest, The Trouble with Sarah Gullion and Bird in the Snow.