Danny Morrison’s last novel, The Wrong Man, was set in Belfast just after the hunger strike and was about an informer inside the IRA. His latest, Rudi – In the Shadow of Knulp, is described as his “best ever” by reviewer Jude Collins. Although the Irish conflict is in the background and the hunger strike is mentioned, the book is largely an individual love story about a man’s struggle for meaning.
Morrison is in a long line of tradition of former republican prisoners having turned to writing. Many republicans, such as Ernie O’Mallie, Dan Breen, Tom Barry, Frank Gallagher, Eamonn Boyce, Dónal Donnelly, Seán Mac Stíofáin, Gerry Adams, Tim Brannigan, Sile Darragh, to mention but a few, have written memoirs, but a smaller number have written plays, poetry, short stories and novels. These include Thomas MacDonagh, Patrick Pearse, Sean O’Casey, Liam O’Flaherty, Frank O’Connor, Peadar O’Donnell, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Brendan Behan, and, more recently, Bobby Sands, Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Brenda Murphy, Brian Campbell, Laurence McKeown and Sam Millar.
Certainly, a rich tradition.