When Deirdre Purcell turned sixty, she cheered. Never again would she have to worry about fitting into a size ten dress, and while her dream of crossing the US on a Harley remains active, if it is never realised, well, she’ll live.
In Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes, for the first time, this much-loved storyteller takes stock of her years to date and reveals very personal memories and reflections. From her earliest days as a child with a large imagination trotting perilously close to the edge of the River Tolka near her home, her head buried in her library book, she weaves an engrossing tapestry of a resilient personal and professional life punctuated by astonishing and sudden changes. Recounted with characteristic frankness, humour and insight, Deirdre chronicles her years as an Abbey actress, the challenges of being the first female anchor of RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock News, the triumphs and failures as an acclaimed journalist who elicited memorable interviews from a host of famous personalities, the break-up of a marriage in an era when tolerance of single mothers was not as it is now – and her transition into the peculiar life of the novelist via the ghost-writing of Gay Byrne’s autobiography.
Illustrated with a treasure trove of photographs, Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes is the personal story behind the storyteller from a keen observer who has recorded a dramatically changing Ireland over the past sixty years.
'A compelling and entertaining read...'
Sunday Business Post
'Honest and unassuming ... compelling ... a warm and humorous reflection on 60 years well-lived'