Born in Northern Ireland, reared in Scotland, the writer and translator Donal McLaughlin lives like a nomad.
His work takes him all over. The flow of speech and vocabulary the world over is his delight – both in his day-to-day life, where he takes a keen interest in every character that turns up, and in his work.
This requires deep sensitivity to the details that make up meaning. The tiny change in tone that tells of a huge shift in mood and feeling; the slang, proudly kept from one generation to the next, that holds on to emotional value and a fiery loyalty.
How to explain these things to an outsider, through words that come from a completely different cultural source, via a story and not explanation or analysis that sucks the life out of ideas and feelings?