Neighborhood Book News: Filthy Beasts by Kirkland Hamill
Kirkland Hamill, a resident of Tuscany Road, has written a memoir entitled ‘Filthy Beasts’ published 2020 by Avid Reader Press. The title is a quote from his mother’s before-school shout to Kirk and his two brothers: “Wake up, you filthy beasts!”
Kirk and his husband Dave moved to Tuscany-Canterbury in 2019 and live with their dog, Blue.
His mother, in fact, is the centerpiece of the book: she is charismatic, willful, and torn between mothering her sons – and losing her status in East Coast society due to divorce. Her life of privilege is cast adrift when she and her three sons move back to her native Bermuda.
Kirk, the second of three sons, adores his mother but senses that “she was able to act like a mother only when it wasn’t expected which is the only way I was able to access her – the recipient of reflected rather than direct light.”
An astute observer, Kirk captures in spot-on detail their increasingly impoverished and chaotic life in Bermuda – hilarious one moment – and disturbing the next. As he tracks his mother’s trajectory toward alcohol, he seeks to help her address her demons just as he comes of age and has to cope with his own.
This memoir is a compelling read – because of Kirk’s raw honesty about himself, his brothers and his mother. But his ability to have you understand them and care is the real tribute to his artistry.
A special thanks to Deborah Callard who wrote the Neighborhood Book News about Kirland’s book that was just published.