Book review: Thought provoking novel reminds us that trauma of the Troubles is never far away

Darragh McKeon, Remembrance Sunday: his second novel has as its subject the central character’s repressed memories of the the IRA bombing of Enniskillen in 1987. Picture: Eamon Ward

Darragh McKeon’s second novel opens with a middle-aged Northern Irishman called Simon sitting in his New York apartment, ruminating on the recurrence of powerful seizures which haven’t troubled him since he was a teenager. To “try to explain all this,” he has taken a deep dive into the literature of epilepsy and interrogated the spirits of Van Gogh, Aristotle and Dostoyevsky.

Simon’s teeming thoughts soon morph into a high-flown disquisition on time, memory and the ...