Journalist Susan McKay discusses her new book, Northern Protestants – On Shifting Ground. McKay shares that in 2021 unionists in Ireland attempted to celebrate the centenary of Northern Ireland and in 2022 they collapsed its government. Political unionism is hardening into a nostalgia for the sectarian state that the Good Friday Agreement dismantled, but McKay’s book explores the surprising diversity of thought among people from a Protestant background who are impatient with narrowness, open to new ideas and welcoming of the potential for political change.

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About Susan McKay

susan mckay with short brown wavy hair wearing navy blue polka dot cardigan

Photo by Derek Speirs

Susan McKay is an Irish writer and journalist from Derry in Northern Ireland. Her most recent book Northern Protestants — On Shifting Ground was published in 2021. It was described by the Observer as “a fascinating and constantly thought provoking book” and the Irish Times said it was “vital reading in all senses of the word.” Her journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, London Review of Books, Guardian/Observer and the Irish Times. She is currently writer in residence with Sligo Libraries working on a project about the legacies of the partition of Ireland in the North West. She is also writing a book about borders for which she received an Arts Council of Northern Ireland major individual award.

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  • Princeton University

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