Vol. 10 No. 10 (2020): Minorities in/and Ireland
Miscellanea

“My grandfathers’ double troubles”: Joseph O’ Neill’s “Blood-Dark Track: A Family History”. Biofiction or Autobiofiction?

Donatella Abbate Badin
University of Turin
Published June 10, 2020
Keywords
  • biofiction,
  • Irish nationalism,
  • Joseph O’Neill,
  • Levantines,
  • Turkey
How to Cite
Abbate Badin, D. (2020). “My grandfathers’ double troubles”: Joseph O’ Neill’s “Blood-Dark Track: A Family History”. Biofiction or Autobiofiction?. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 10(10), 237-249. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-sijis/article/view/11762

Abstract

In Blood-Dark Track: A Family History (2000), Joseph O’Neill, a journalist and barrister of Irish origins living in the Netherlands, (re)constructs the lives of his two grandfathers, the paternal one, Jim O’Neill, an IRA activist from Ireland, and the maternal one, Joseph Dakad, a businessman from Turkey. The two men shared the traumatic experience of being jailed more or less at the same time (1940s) for no clearly apparent political reasons. The grandson’s search to dispel “the taut silences” that covered their incarcerations is to be read as a detective story, an example of biofiction, or, rather, a personal investigation attempting to close the gap between the different cultures that contributed to create his identity clarifying in the process the concepts of nationalism and nationhood.