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James O'Neill (Author) James O'Neill has written comedy and drama, for stage, radio and TV. Credits include Big Train and Lenny Henry In Pieces for BBC TV, and a host of plays, series and adaptations for BBC Radio 4. With the help of an Arts Council bursary, he has recently finished his debut novel, Sturgeon Landing. Originally from Ireland, James now lives in Gloucestershire with his wife, their two boys, and a thoroughly uncooperative dog. The Wolf Who Cried Boy is James' first picture book.Russell Ayto (Illustrator) Russell Ayto was born in Chichester, Sussex and brought up in Oxfordshire. The thing he loves best is the chance to be creative and use his imagination to make characters come to life. He has illustrated many picture books and been shortlisted for the Nestle Award, the Mother Goose Award and the Blue Peter Book Awards, and won the 2008 inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for The Witch's Children Go to School.
In O'Neill's book - at once a case-history, a novella, and something more than either - we have a remarkable story of what two people can do for each other if they can experiment with trust. Adam PhillipsWhen therapist-in-training James O'Neill starts his placement at a therapy centre in west London, his first referral is Abraham, a silent and frightened young man in a tightly-zipped, hooded anorak.For the majority of their initial sessions, Abraham hardly speaks. But O'Neill gradually gains his trust and learns of the abuse and violence Abraham was subjected to as a child that caused him to hide away from the world - barely sleeping, too afraid to get undressed even in the shower.Over the many years they meet, Abraham's unfolding story and bravery inspire O'Neill to confront his own complicated past. Together they achieve something radical, as Abraham creates his own kind of therapy and teaches O'Neill to do the same.
The thought of enlisting in the French Foreign Legion held a tantalizing allure for young nineteenth-century American boys in search of adventure. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, James O'Neill enlisted in the legion in 1887, at the age of twenty-seven. In 1890, deployed to Tonquin in French Indochina (more familiar today as Tonkin, Vietnam), O'Neill faced tropical heat, infectious disease, and sudden death. Like his contemporary Stephen Crane, O'Neill's ability to recount an engaging story and his keen sense for telling details provide a unique record of his time in this exotic world. In these thirteen tales, O'Neill shows- with surprising subtlety- that France's efforts to conquer and govern Indochina were foolhardy. Although the only American in his stories is the narrator, it is clear the tales are aimed at readers in the United States and intended to caution against the construction of empires abroad. Far from polemical tirades, these absorbing, unadorned stories read as remarkably contemporary in both style and substance. Historian Charles Royster provides a short biography of O'Neill and the text of two long-forgotten essays O'Neill published in magazines of the time, one a description of a Buddhist temple in Hanoi and the other an appreciation of the Hungarian novelist Maurus JA(3)kai. Whether read for historical value, literary merit, or political insights, Garrison Tales from Tonquin is a true discovery.
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