- 20 Sep 22
"We were three Irish men, and we avoided the pain that we knew would come from thinking and speaking about her..."
U2's Bono opens up about the death of his mother, Iris, when he was just 14, in a new extract from his upcoming memoir, Surrender, out on November 1.
"...I spot my father carrying my mother in his arms through a crowd, like a white snooker ball scattering a triangle of colour. He's rushing to get her to the hospital. She has collapsed at the side of the grave as her own father is being lowered into the ground."
He goes on to discuss the aftermath of his mother's death.
"After my mother’s departure, Cedarwood Road becomes its own opera," he writes. "Three men used to shouting at the television now shouting at one another. We live in rage and melancholy, in mystery and melodrama. The subject of the opera is the absence of a woman called Iris, and the music swells to stay the silence that envelops the house and the three men—one of whom is just a boy."
As "three Irish men," Bono says that he, his father and his brother "avoided the pain" they felt "would come from thinking and speaking about her."
Elsewhere in the extract, he recalls other moments from his childhood, including visiting the record shop Dolphin Discs on Talbot Street after school on Fridays.
"The only reason I wasn’t standing in the record store at 5:30 p.m. on May 17, 1974, is that a bus strike meant that we’d had to cycle to school," he reveals, referencing the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which claimed the lives of 33 people. "We were already home when the streets around Dolphin Discs were blown to bits by a car bomb in Talbot Street..."
Surrender is made up of 40 chapters, each of which is named after a U2 song.
"When I started to write this book, I was hoping to draw in detail what I’d previously only sketched in songs," Bono remarked in a statement about his memoir. "The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept. A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Surrender is the story of one pilgrim’s lack of progress. . . With a fair amount of fun along the way."
You can pre-order Surrender here.
“Iris has fainted. Iris has fainted.”
The voices of my aunts and cousins blow around like a breeze through leaves.
“She’ll be O.K. She’s just fainted.”#SurrenderMemoir is out everywhere November 1: https://t.co/3u4XPdZ04S
— U2 (@U2) September 20, 2022
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