In Joe Cinque’s Consolation, Garner tries to gain an understanding of why this terrible event took place from all the participants in this drama. She wanted to speak to everyone concerned, in order to avoid the criticisms levelled against her following the publication of The First Stone - that she took the side of the Master of Ormond College. Her desire for an even-handed treatment of Joe Cinque’s death was thwarted when, as she says T he women won’t talk to me. Suddenly I felt very tired. Here I was back at the same old roadblock. My fantasy of journalistic even-handedness, long buckling under strain, gave way completely.’
omment is a reflection back to the difficulties she had getting any comment from the women involved in making the allegation of sexual harassment, which was at the centre of The First Stone. Instead of ‘journalistic even-handedness’ what we get is a compassionate account of the grief of Joe’s parents and of their desire for retribution, a meditation on the difference between evil and insanity and a clear-sighted look at our legal system and its limitations
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