Brian Keenan was born in Belfast. He was educated at Ulster University where he obtained an MA and where he taught briefly before taking up a lecturing position at the American University in Beirut. In 1985 Keenan was abducted in Beirut by the Hezbollah militia and held as a hostage in their war against the Israeli occupation of the Lebanon and the United States government’s support for same.
During his imprisonment Keenan was chained, blindfolded, beaten and assaulted in secret locations in the Lebanon, South Beirut, Baalbeck and near the Israeli border. He was moved fifteen times during his captivity, often in car boots or the underside of vehicles and spent one year without anything to read.
Keenan was released on August 24th, 1990 and his account of his captivity, An Evil Cradling, was published in 1992 and a novel Turlough about O’Carolan, the 17th century blind Irish harpist, was published in 2001.
Books By Brian Keenan Include:
- An Evil Cradling – 1993
- Between Extremes: A Journey Beyond Imagination – 1999
- Turlough – 2001
- Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey – 2004
Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.