OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA RICE first encountered Mindfulness when he was 13 years old. Except he didn’t know what it was. And over the years that followed, he simply called it the Joy of Looking. – living in the Now, and savouring the wonder and beauty of the world around him.

He carried that Joy of Looking into a monastery where he was for a time a Dominican friar, and then into his work as writer, journalist, photo-journalist and editor on three continents. In the 1970s he was an editor and Sigma-Delta-Chi award-winning syndicated columnist in the United States, coming to Ireland in 1980 to head up the Rathmines School of Journalism (later DIT).

In 1989, recommended by the Thomson Foundation UK, he was invited to Beijing by the Chinese government to train journalists on behalf of Xin Hua, the Chinese national news agency, and to work as an editor with China Features. He was in Beijing during the Massacre of Tiananmen Square, and later returned to interview secretly 400 of the young people who had survived the massacre. This brought him to the attention of the Chinese security police.

It also led to two books, The Dragon’s Brood: Conversations with Young Chinese (HarperCollins), and the novel, Song of Tiananmen Square (Brandon/Mt Eagle).

His books have been published in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Italy and the United States. Rice’s No.1 best-selling Shattered Vows (Michael Joseph/Penguin) led to the acclaimed YTV/Channel 4 documentary, Priests of Passion, which he presented. He now lives in County Tipperary, Ireland, where he and his partner Kathleen direct the Killaloe Hedge-School of Writing (, to which workshops people have come from 19 countries.

Through Killaloe Communications ( Rice has taught communication skills for the University of Limerick, for Trinity College and for government and commercial organizations. He has degrees in Sociology, Education, and German Literature from the National University of Ireland (Galway); in Community Development from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois); and in Theology from the University of St Thomas – The Angelicum (Rome).

His main passion is still the Joy of Looking, which he now knows as an integral part of Mindfulness.


Books by David Rice:

Shattered Vows (London: Penguin/Michael Joseph; Belfast: Blackstaff; New York: William Morrow; Triumph Books; St Louis: Ligouri Press)

Kirche ohne Priester (Munich: Bertelsmann; Goldmann Verlag)

The Rathmines Stylebook (Dublin: Folens)

Blood Guilt (Belfast: Blackstaff)

The Dragon’s Brood (London: HarperCollins)

Song of Tiananmen Square (Dingle: Mount Eagle/Brandon)

La Sindrome di Pompei (Rome: Newton Compton)

Corduroy Boy (to be published)

Comment on books by David Rice

The Dragon’s Brood

David Rice’s Dragon’s Brood is a marvelously fresh and immediate evocation … He has a good journalist’s sense of the core of a human character, and a gift for asking questions… His book achieves real depth. The belief that the Chinese care little about individual or human rights… should not survive these pages. Rice’s eye is sharp and he has useful things to say about many important topics.
—Mark Elvin in the London Review of Books

Illuminating recorded conversations… with explorations of young people’s views on all the issues which have been at the forefront of change. Rice’s view of China is not a cheerful one… yet he maintains a justifiable spark of optimism.
—Colina Macdougall in The Times Literary Supplement

David Rice makes worthwhile reading… He accurately conveys the often touching despair of most Chinese surveying the wasteland of their recent past. He cleverly invokes their alternating pride in China’s size and cultural heritage and their own sense of inferiority towards richer and freer westerners.
—Jasper Becker in The Times (London)

Where Jung Chang leaves off, David Rice takes over.
—Simon Scott Plummer in The Tablet

This intriguing book opens a wide window on the future which before long we will all have to meet and greet and mingle with… fundamental impression of truthfulness… my respect for an enjoyable, enlightening and important book.
—Tony Parker in The Sunday Times

David Rice has done a commendable job in capturing the spirit of the times.

—John Kohut in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

I trust this book, because of what it says about Chinese faces…. Rice is a keen observer. 

—Jonathan Mirsky in The Irish Times

The Dragon’s Brood is a singular review of the thoughts and aspirations of a new generation of a people the West has too often misunderstood at its peril.
—Howard Rose in the Sunday Press

Song of Tiananmen Square

Rice has written a gripping and all-too-realistic novel about the Tiananmen Square massacre and the events surrounding it.
—Chris Patten, last governor of Hong Kong

Utterly fascinating… powerfully affecting… lyricism and immediacy.
—Robert Farren in The Irish Times

David Rice has recreated the sights, sounds, smells and, above all, the emotions of Beijing in the spring of 1989.
—Jonathan Mirsky who reported the Tiananmen Square massacre for The Observer

Shattered Vows

Despite the anguish it portrays, Shattered Vows is an immensely heartening and encouraging book.
—Robert Nowell in The Sunday Times

Well documented and at the same time an outcry for changing the present disastrous policy. 

— Professor Hans Küng

The unmistakable force and vividness that only real life can yield… The fruits of this patient listening are pictures we can see, and voices that speak to us.
— Professor Uta Ranke-Heinemann,
University of Essen, author of Nein und Amen

A call for candour on celibacy.
—The New York Times

This courageous exposé… provides powerful testimony. David Rice cannot be commended enough for his brilliant study.
— Carol J. Lichtenberg in the Library Journal (US)

I know no study… that compares with this. No one has researched the subject as well as David Rice. No one has listened… with such wisdom and sympathy.

—Peter de Rosa, author of Rebels; Vicars of Christ & others

His book has the convincing ring of truth… conveys an authentic impression… a very sensitive appraisal.
—Dr Joyce M Bennett in the Church of England Newspaper

This book starkly says the Church is in crisis. Its author is well-placed to know.

—Michael Brown in the Yorkshire Post

A book without hate or rancour and an important contribution to the celibacy discussion.

— Kronen Zeitung

Rice has established a well-founded scrutiny of the present situation.
Braunschweiger Zeitung

The Pompeii Syndrome

The Pompeii Syndrome really grabbed me from the first page… it makes you wonder whether we really are in denial about catastrophic threat, because we refuse to believe in the possibility of our own extinction. My test of a good book is always the same — would I loan it to a friend with the proviso that they have to give it back? This definitely meets that criterion.

— Brenda Power, columnist Sunday Times 

The Pompeii Syndrome is a genuinely terrifying, totally believable novel, because it could come true tomorrow … What sets the story apart is the huge amount of research which underpins every paragraph. Rice has spent years studying the situation. He tells us — as the politicians never do — exactly what we can expect if we do not force our governments to change their policies before it is too late. Run, do not walk, to the nearest bookshop and buy a copy. Better still, buy copies for your friends as well.
— Morgan Llywelyn, author of The Greener Shore;
Grania; Red Branch & others

A taut thriller… scarily believable. The Pompeii Syndrome is fast-paced and explosive… page-turning and thoughtful — a must-read thriller.
— Cathy Kelly, author of Lessons in Heartbreak; Past Secrets & others

Read this book or regret it till your dying day — which could be very soon…
— Paul Williams, author of Evil Empire;
The General (book & film), Gangland; Crime Lords & others

Brilliantly narrated … this is no ordinary novel, but “fiction based on fact”… graphically portrays one route to mass destruction and the end of civilization as we know it. The ‘Pompeii Syndrome’… may well enter the vocabulary alongside terms such as ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. It refers to… denial in the face of impending catastrophe too awful to contemplate.
— Louis Hughes OP in Spirituality magazine

An absolutely gripping read.
— Paul Carson, author of Scalpel; Cold Steel; Betrayal & others

The unthinkable becomes obvious. The moment when the obvious turns into reality, it is too late. And yet nothing changes. David Rice is the first one to put into words what many see coming but no one wants to see. Of course not. It would mean that something has to change. Now.

— Mycle Schneider, international nuclear consultant, advisor to the official UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), and former advisor to the Belgian, French and German governments; winner of the Right Livelihood Award 1997

Blood Guilt

One of the best-timed releases in modern publishing. David Rice had no idea that in the very week of its publication the central question posed by the book would be on the lips of thousands… What becomes of a gunman when his killing days are over?
—Evening Press

The great strength of this novel is that it is in no way mawkish and escapes the sentimentality so many people associated with the ‘struggle’. The central character is sufficiently authentic to have the reader identify with his personal odyssey. Blood Guilt is an insightful, imaginative and well-crafted novel… Highly recommended, especially for those who appreciate the difference between style and pretension.
—Connacht Tribune
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