What happens when history tries to squeeze itself into a town of ten thousand people, most of them related somewhere down the line? For Glenn Patterson's grandparents, Jack and Kate, sedate old age in Lisburn belies the turmoil of their early life together, but also apart - they had to wait ten years to marry. Part personal memoir and part family story, with riveting awareness of the forces which sever and link generations, Once Upon a Hill is a detective story written against the simple erosion of memory and the reluctance of family members to talk. It is a rich, clear-sighted book which deals with love, violence, fortitude and, finally, forgiveness.
Glen Patterson was born in Belfast in 1961 and studied for a Creative Writing MA at UEA, taught by Malcolm Bradbury. He is author of five novels. His first, Burning Your Own (1988), won a Betty Trask Award and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Glen Patterson has been Writer in Residence at the Universities of East Anglia, Cork and Queen's University, Belfast.