Jack Holland was born in Belfast in Northern Ireland at a time when horse-drawn carts still delivered milk from stables and domestic violence was still considered a matter "between husband and wife," and therefore beyond public scrutiny or sanction. He came of age in a world in which technological developments such as jet travel and the contraceptive pill transformed the way ordinary people lived and reasoned. By the time of his untimely death in 2004 he had become the acclaimed Irish author of countless articles, four novels and seven books of non-fiction, most of them dealing with "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland.

Why did an author known and respected for his balanced reporting and analysis of the Northern Ireland situation write about the abuse of one half of humanity by the other? The answer is simple: he loved history and he loved women. He was raised by a strong-minded and competent granny, and felt great tenderness for her, his mother and his sisters. He lived in a world where women were not considered man's equal and had even fewer options than their male contemporaries. He understood early on that without equality there is no friendship, and that friendship is a necessary ingredient in all successful relationships, including sexual ones. This book came out of his abiding love of women and fascination for their experience.

"Jack what a life you led - not a bad example to the rest of us who shared with you part of our lives at St Thomas's and were influenced by people like McLaverty & Heaney. Your work is a great achievement and in it you will live on. From one kid of the Falls to another." - Jim Donaghy, Adelaide, Australia (2009)

Jack with his Aunt Cissy and friends ca 1953.
One small happy family. Capranica. 1987
Mutual admiration society. Trevignano. 1987.