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Book Title: The Lost Child of Philomena Lee|
The author of the book: Martin Sixsmith
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Date of issue: August 11th 2011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.76 MB
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Now a major film, called Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears.
When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent of Roscrea, Co. Limerick, to be looked after as a ‘fallen woman’ and at the age of three her baby was whisked away and ‘sold’ to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising ‘Never to Seek to Know’ what the Church did with him, she never saw him again. She would spend the next fifty years searching for her son, unaware that he spent his life searching for her.
Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top lawyer and then a Republican politician in the first Bush administration. But he was also gay and in 1980s Washington being out and proud was not an option. He not only had to conceal not only his sexuality, but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent in which he was born to plead with the nuns to tell him who his mother was, so that he might see her before he died. They refused.The Lost Child of Philomena Lee is the story of a mother and a son, whose lives were blighted by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. A compelling narrative of human love and loss, Martin Sixsmith's moving account is both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.
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Read information about the authorGeorge Martin Sixsmith, British author and journalist.
Sixsmith joined the BBC in 1980 where he worked as a foreign correspondent, most notably reporting from Moscow during the end of the Cold War. He also reported from Poland during the Solidarity uprising and was the BBC's Washington correspondent during the election and first presidency of Bill Clinton. He was based in Russia for five years, the US for four, Brussels for four and Poland for three.
Sixsmith left the BBC in 1997 to work for the newly elected government of Tony Blair. He became Director of Communications (a civil service post), working first with Harriet Harman and Frank Field, then with Alistair Darling. His next position was as a Director of GEC plc, where he oversaw the rebranding of the company as Marconi plc.
In December 2001, he returned to the Civil Service to join the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions as Director of Communications in time to become embroiled in the second act of the scandal over Jo Moore. Moore was special adviser to the transport secretary Stephen Byers and had been the subject of much public condemnation for suggesting that a controversial announcement should be "buried" during the media coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Sixsmith incurred the displeasure of Downing Street when his email advising Byers and Moore not to bury more bad news was leaked to the press. Number Ten attempted to "resign him", but had later to issue an apology and pay him compensation. Sixsmith was widely expected to write a memoir or autobiography in the wake of his civil service departure, but was gagged by the government Instead, he produced a novel about near-future politics called Spin, published in 2004.
His second novel, I Heard Lenin Laugh, was published in 2005. In 2006 he was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to present a series of programmes on Russian poetry, literature and art.
In 2007 he wrote The Litvinenko File, an examination of the feud between the Kremlin and Russia's émigré oligarchs.
In 2008 Sixsmith worked on two BBC documentaries exploring the legacy of the KGB in today's Russia and also presented a BBC documentary, The Snowy Streets of St. Petersburg, about artists and writers who fled the former Eastern bloc.
In 2009 he wrote The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, about the forcible separation of a mother and child by the nuns of an Irish convent during the 1950s, and the subsequent attempts of the mother and child to contact one another. The book was adapted into the film Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (as Sixsmith), and written by Coogan and Jeff Pope; it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was released in the UK on November 1 2013.
In February 2010 Sixsmith wrote Putin's Oil, about Russia's energy wars and their consequences for Moscow and the world.
He worked as an adviser to the BBC political sitcom The Thick of It, and the Oscar-nominated film, In the Loop.
In 2011, he presented Russia: The Wild East, a 50-part history of Russia for BBC Radio 4, the last episode of which was broadcast on 12 August. His book Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East was published by Random House.
In 2014 Sixsmith will present a 25 part programme about the history of psychology and psychiatry for the BBC radio.
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