Gerard Donovan believes it is the novelist's job to write and use the words to pry open the eyes of those who don't want to see.
His fiction is intended to illuminate the dark corners where unpleasantness lies, to encourage readers to exit their comfort zone.
For that reason, the Irish-born author was outraged when a pro-Palestinian group tried to bully him into boycotting the upcoming International Writers Festival in Israel.
The Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign seeks to promote boycotts of all things Israeli, as a way to support the Palestinian cause. Keep in mind that the IRA didn't shy away from using violence, and you'll understand how a group of Irish people can stand shoulder to shoulder with those who think nothing of lobbing missiles into grade schools and homes...who would destroy Israel because its people are Jewish.
As part of their campaign, ISPC spokes-doctor Raymond Deane says he sent Mr. Donovan a letter, urging him to join the boycott and not attend the book fair. In the end, the doctor published an open letter because he says he never heard back and he's a man who wants answers.
At the moment, Mr. Donovan is dealing with cancer from his home in an isolated area in upstate New York. Anyone wishing to contact him need only contact his publisher.
Perhaps Dr. Deane is too busy railing against the Israelis to read Julius Winsome. It's published by Overlook Press.
As a man who believes that writers should not limit their works to boundaries set by others, Mr. Donovan is angry with Dr. Deane and the whole IPSC intimidation tactic. He had to cancel his appearance at the book event due to health concerns, but if he was physically able, he would have gone.
There are those who want to see both sides of an argument. There are those who don't think the Israelis are wrong, but are defending themselves. And in Ireland, there are many who are flat out anti-Semitic but hide behind a the facade of an Israeli boycott to hide their bigotry.
Singer Paul Simon took the heat when he went to South Africa to play with the musicians who were suffering under apartheid. He did more to help the country's artists than anyone who thought they were helping by staying at home, keeping the darkness dark in that corner of unpleasantness.