‘Paperboy’ author lines up Flowerfield reading

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PUT A date in your diary for Wednesday this week at Flowerfield Arts Centre, as acclaimed author Tony Macaulay offers a reading from his hugely popular book Paperboy.

Admission to the event (which gets under way at 8pm) is free, but those attending are asked to get in touch with Flowerfield to register their place, as seats are limited.

Paperboy has become something of a literary sensation, propelling Tony into the spotlight in a series of readings and events – and plans are now well advanced to turn the book into a film.

Tony Macaulay grew up at the top of the Shankill Road in Belfast at the start of thirty-five years of ‘The Troubles’. His parents were volunteer youth leaders who, at the height of the violence, worked to keep children from the Shankill off the streets and safe.

Tony has spent the past 25 years working to build peace and reconciliation at home and abroad, working with hundreds of youth and community groups to break down barriers of mistrust, hatred and division. He now lives in Portstewart and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Ulster.

Since the publication of Paperboy, Tony has been invited to read at a range of festivals including the Aspects Literature Festival, Open House Festival and ‘Scribes at the West’ at Féile an Phobail. The film rights of ‘the novel have been picked up by Titian Red Pictures, producers of the award winning Song for a Raggy Boy.

His story centres on Belfast, 1975 - where a 12-year-old boy wearing Brut aftershave has just been appointed paperboy to the Upper Shankill by Oul’ Mac. The smell of Tayto cheese and onion crisps is on his breath, and the aroma of fresh fish suppers and burning double-decker buses is in the air.

It is the era of platform shoes and parallel trousers, and Paperboy is taking guitar lessons with Mr. Rowing so he can play along to the Bay City Rollers.

It is a time of hate and conflict, but Paperboy’s only battles are with acne, dentistry and the wee hoods out to rob his paper money. There are secrets at school and dangers on the streets, but he’s a good paperboy… He delivers.

Call Flowerfield Arts Centre on (028) 7083 1400 if you’d like to attend the reading.