Irene Black 1943-2020
Hello and welcome to Irene Black's website. Irene was a writer and a specialist in the field of Indian Temple Art. She gave talks and ran courses on the latter. As far as writing went she written three novels, a couple of e-travelogues and a crazy little book on eBay selling. She also dabbled in poetry, articles and short stories, which have been surprisingly successful.
Her book, 'A guide to understanding the Hindu Temple', published in March 2018, is Volume 1 of a two-part series 'Divine Palaces of South India', based on her MA dissertation on South Indian temple architecture. It is intended for students, tourists and anyone else interested in this fascinating part of the world. Volume 2 'The Dancing Temples of Karnataka' is currently available as a Kindle eBook.
In 2016 we completed a biography of her parents "If only I could have News from You" (published in September 2016), the story of their lives under the Nazis and their amazing exodus from Germany. You will find details on the Non-Fiction and Extracts pages. The book aroused considerable interested and was accepted for the 2016 Guildford Book Festival in October 2016, the Cranleigh Book Festival the following year and, in April 2018 Irene was invited to talk about the book at the Genocide Awareness Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The talk she gave at the Guildford Book Festival in the Guildford Castle Keep was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Guildford and was followed by a book-signing hosted by Waterstones.
Irene's first full length novel "The Moon's Complexion", was published by Goldenford in 2005. Her second novel 'Darshan' was published by Goldenford in July 2008.
September 2011 saw the publication of " Noontide Owls", a short fantasy novel for young adults aged 9 -109.
From 2011 onwards all her novels and some short stories have also become available in eBook format.
Irene had a somewhat bizarre and eclectic career. She graduated from Manchester University with a psychology degree and worked as a research psychologist not only in England at the Ministry of Defence, but also in Australia at Melbourne University and in New York, where she was part of a research team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, working on the Apollo Space Project (mainly doing unbelievably ghastly things to unsuspecting volunteers!).
After her return to England Irene began to teach, ultimately becoming Head of Modern Languages at a large comprehensive school in Surrey.
In 1999 a spinal injury forced Irene to give up this post (oh, what a pity!), giving her back her life and enabling her to concentrate on her writing.
In 2006, after having spent long periods living in India in the early noughties, Irene graduated from De Montfort University with an MA research-based degree in South Asian Arts (graduating with Distinction!!!) Her 'specialist subject' was a group of gorgeous 12th and 13th century temples in Southern Karnataka.
In her works Irene was interested in examining the subject of cultural identity, probably because she was a crazy mixture myself, as you will discover if you read the above-mentioned biography. She came from a culturally diverse background, with family spread across the world - Britain, Thailand, Laos, the USA, Germany, France, Israel, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Australia. She aimed to make her writing literary but accessible, exciting and with more than a touch of suspense and, of course, romance.