Lyra McKee

A statement from Will Francis:

“Lyra McKee was gifted, brave, kind and funny. I’m proud to have been her literary agent. I started working with her after Chrissie Giles at Mosaic published Lyra’s extraordinary piece about the effect of the war in Northern Ireland on her generation, growing up in Belfast after the Good Friday Agreement. She wrote about the legacy of the Troubles, about a city haunted by its recent past, and did so with tremendous wit and insight. I sold her book, The Lost Boys, about the disappearance of children in Belfast in the 1970s, to Faber last year on the basis of a proposal. In that document she wrote about growing up in a “conflict hotspot” in North Belfast, off the road known as the Murder Mile. She wrote “Many people have grown to dislike the use of the word “war” to describe what happened here. The term “The Conflict” became a more acceptable alternative, even if it made a 30-year battle sound like a lover’s tiff. It’s got the ring of a euphemism, the kind one might use to refer to a shameful family secret during a reunion lunch… I witnessed its last years, as armed campaigns died and gave way to an uneasy tension we natives of Northern Ireland have named “peace”, and I lived with its legacy, watching friends and family members cope with the trauma of what they could not forget.”

As William Faulkner wrote, the past is never dead. It’s not even past. We’ve lost a tremendous talent, and today I’m remembering Lyra, and thinking of her friends, her partner and her family.”