What does history tell us about today?

Susan talks with Irish author Martin Malone about his latest collection of short stories ‘Deadly Confederacies’ & discusses the history of Syria with Professor Trevor Bryce

Trevor Bryce is an Emeritus Professor of the University of New England in Australia and is a Honorary Research Consultant at the University of Queensland.

Throughout his career he has received many notable awards, such as the Australian Centenary Award for his services to history and he is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Having begun his studies in the area of Latin language and literature at the University of Queensland, he has since become a leading scholar in the study of Hittitology, which specialises in the Near Eastern Empire and the Ancient World.

Trevor has produced many acclaimed works in this field such as ‘The Kingdom of the Hittites’ and ‘The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms.’

Most recently, he has authored ‘Ancient Syria: A Three Thousand Year History’ which covers the vast history of a notable region that has proved divisive in the modern age.

Listen in as Susan and Trevor delve into the intricate history of the Ancient World.

Where exactly is the location of this Ancient Kingdom? Who were the various rulers over the period covered by Trevor? And what now remains from this ancient time?

This comprehensive account of Syria’s history seeks to address these questions and shed further light on this complex part of the world.

Following this, Susan will be chatting with Irish author Martin Malone.

Martin is a novelist and short story writer. Born in Kildare, Martin has served with the Irish Army on various tours of duty in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East.

These events have shaped a great deal of his work to date. Indeed, his memoir ‘The Lebanon Diaries’, published in 2007, recounted these experiences.

His pedigree as a short story writer is well established too, having won the RTE Francis MacManus Award for his short story ‘The Mango War’, which was the title story of his 2009 offering ‘The Mango War and Other Stories.’

As a novelist, Martin has also received much acclaim. In the past he has been nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Irish Fiction Award. His novels include ‘The Broken Cedar’, ‘The Silence of the Glasshouse’, ‘The Only Glow of the Day’ and ‘Valley of the Peacock Angel.’

In his latest collection of short stories ‘Deadly Confederacies & Other Stories’, Martin covers an extensive range of topics, from a murderous plot to a struggling couple. It also features riveting stories based in the Middle East, roused by his experiences in the military.

Join 'Talking Books' as Martin chats about his experiences in the Irish Army. In what way has this influenced his short stories and novels? Is it difficult to get in the mindset of the sinister characters that inhabit his stories? And as a writer, how does Martin approach issues that are often left untouched in society or in history?