99 Words

Liz Gray, Darton Longman Todd

What is interesting about this small book is the wide range of people who responded to the request from Liz Gray to express in no more than 99 words the last words for which they would have breath.

As 99 cents from the sale of each copy is to go to Peace Direct “to support local peace builders in war zones”, this prompted thoughts from historians, peace activists, artists, song writers, ecologists and journalists.

Love, peace, beauty and friendship feature strongly. A few responses are simply a list of words.

Noirin Ni Riain quotes Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount and Liz Wright looks back (“the greatest gifts of the human experience belonged to us as children”), while Desmond Tutu refers to the concept of ubuntu: “I am human because I belong”.

A few reveal their frustration, as the Irish journalist Nuala O Faolain and Elizabeth St John simply say, “Why would I waste my breath?”

You will find the book revealing about contemporary thinking.

John Atkinson

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