In this second memoir Brian Hirst tells the story of his own inner and outer lives, from his first memories of the early-1950s to the September day in 1965 when he left his home town, Batley, to begin teacher-training.
Brian pulls no punches in exploring his “inner” self at this time of his life. He takes us through the painful path he trod toward articulating his homosexuality at the age of 17 and describes, from inside, his growing awareness of his socio-economic class.
He candidly shows us how his sexuality and class often became conflated, in his own mind, into a general sense of inner shame about himself and his family background, and how he escaped that deep sense of shame, first through fantasies, and then through calculated lies.
Brian describes his “outer” life and self through a series of remembered days and events, and develops and deepens his portrait of life in a working class community in the former “Heavy Woollen District” of Yorkshire during the 1950s and 1960s. He explores some of the myths about the period of English history in which his book is set which are accepted as agreed “facts” now. And he looks at how we might learn more about ourselves and our society through looking clearly at our recent past.
Brian hopes to complete his third and final memoir by 2013.
Brian's first book Rag-Oyle Town Family is currently available here special online price £5.99