Asking For Trouble

Patricia Craig's podacst and memoir reveals a nearly-forgotten political and personal climate

Expelled as a schoolgirl in 1959, Patricia Craig went on to become an eminent critic and author.

Her biography of Brain Moore was published by Bloomsbury in 2002 and she has edited many anthologies, including the Oxford Books of Ireland, English Detective Stories and Modern Women's Stories. She is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, the Independent and the Irish Times.

For The Blackstaff Press she compiled The Belfast Anthology and The Ulster Anthology, following these with her memoir, Asking for Trouble.

'This is the story of an escapade with disproportionate consequences,' says Craig. 'When I was 16 I was expelled from school. So what, you may say: so were lots of people who never took it into their heads to make a song and dance about it.

'True - but I hope to show that this particular, infinitesimal injustice had implications beyond the purely personal.'

Belfast in 1959 was not a place or time when pupils from respectable families were expelled, and certainly not for 'carrying on' with local boys in the Donegal Gaeltacht on a school-organised Irish language course.

Craig's coming-of-age memoir tells the story of the events surrounding her expulsion and the far-reaching consequences. Asking for Trouble is a wry and fascinating account of religious identities, family relationships and growing up against the vivid backdrop of 1950s Belfast and Donegal.

Asking for Trouble (Blackstaff) is available now.