This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News - Issue 309 ---------------------------------- Haughey’s Forty Years of Controversy by T. Ryle Dwyer (Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.50 UK; 260 pages) Charles J. Haughey, over the last five decades, has been involved in major political scandals of Watergate proportions: the Arms Crisis, the telephone tapping scandal, the Beef Tribunal, the Ben Dunne payments, tax evasion, the Terry Keane revelations, the Moriarty Tribunal investigation into payments to politicians, the McCracken Tribunal, etc.; In this revised edition of Fallen Idol, Ryle Dwyer updates the scandals and delivers his conclusions on the Haughey Years.; Lively, succinct, opinionated, drawing extensively on in-depth research, Forty Years of Controversy is the indispensable handbook for anyone intrigued by one of Ireland's most inscrutable politicians. ------------------------------------- Killing Finucane by Justin O’Brien (Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 19.00 USD / 11.00 UK; 210 pages) Pat Finucane's murder in 1989 was the most infamous incident in the long story of British counter-insurgency in Northern Ireland. But it was in no way unique. In Killing Finucane, Justin O'Brien tells the full story of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and agents of the state – especially the RUC Special Branch and sinister elements in the British Army. The result was the corruption of the state itself and the loss of its claim to moral precedence in the fight against republican terrorism. Killing Finucane tells the story of Northern Ireland's dirty war from the start of the Troubles and through the 1980s and 90s. It tells of how Special Branch corrupted the RUC, stymied the Finucane murder hunt while recruiting his killer as an agent, and perverted the course of justice by lying to the Stevens inquiry. These abuses were official government policy: O'Brien demonstrates that MI5 controlled the entire security environment, including Special Branch, and covered its tracks by a deliberate policy of scapegoating alleged 'rogue operators'. In exposing the reality behind the dirty war in Northern Ireland, Killing Finucaneserves as a warning about the corrupting tendencies of an unaccountable security apparatus. It tells of how agents involved in the killing were protected rather than prosecuted, and reveals why this was allowed to happen. This is an explosive and important exposé. ------------------------------ The Open Door Book of Poetry edited by Niall MacMonagle (Paperback; 10 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 116 pages) Edited by acclaimed Lifelines editor, teacher and critic Niall MacMonagle, the book is both an introduction to the joys of poetry for the general reader, and also an aid for secondary students, adults learning to read, and people learning English. Published in the same much-praised format as Open Door, the book promises to be one to treasure. Innovatively laid out by Niall MacMonagle and series editor Patricia Scanlan, the book will feature a poem a page, followed by glossary, explanation and poet biographies. This brilliant new book will both introduce people to the concept of poetry, while also introducing them to the personal favourites of one of our most inclusive critics and teachers. --------------------------------- The Midnight Court by Ciaran Carson (Paperback; 12.50 Euro / 16.00 USD / 8.50 UK; 80 pages) An outstanding poet, Ciaran Carson has also proved himself and adept and adventurous translator. Now he turns to a masterpiece perfectly suited to his abundant gifts, the eighteenth-century Irish 'Cúirt an Mhéan Oíche'. Brian Merriman's classic debate on marriage and the plight of young women culminates in the fairy goddess Aoibheall's judgement against men. Carson echoes Merriman's mix of high rhetoric and rude colloquial wit and replicates his probing analysis of sexuality and social mores. The acrobatics of his couplets quicken the poem's passionate argument, capturing its nudges and winks in earthy, contemporary idiom. What he calls Merriman's 'abundant lexicon of vilification . . . numerous double entendres and gorgeousness of verbal music' comes alive in his brilliant recreation. This Midnight Court unfolds with a spring — and a surprise — in every step. (Also available in Hardback, priced at 20 Euro) -------------------------------- Harbour Lights by Derek Mahon (Paperback; 12.50 Euro / 16.00 USD / 8.50 UK; 80 pages) When one of the finest contemporary poets produces a new collection containing some of his finest work our response is one of exhilaration and gratitude. The long, wide-ranging poems here (‘Resistance Days’, ‘Calypso’, ‘Harbour Lights’ itself) are interspersed with penetrating glances and a series of dazzling translations which enhance and extend their traditions; his version of ‘The Seaside Cemetery’ is a masterpiece. Together they form a book of rare organic unity and distinction. The author’s resolution to study ‘clouds and their formation’ and his concentration on ‘the real thing’ affirm aesthetic values in a violent time. Remembering ‘lives in a former life’ and celebrating ‘the redemptive power of women’, his work is unique in its verve and fluency. Harbour Lights is an act of faith, and a triumph. (Also available in Hardback, priced at 20 Euro) ---------------------------------- Fiction by Conor O’Callaghan (Paperback; 12.50 Euro / 16.00 USD / 8.50 UK; 80 pages) Conor O’Callaghan’s third collection, his first for six years, navigates a channel between half-truth and deception. Narratives, at once private and impersonal, happen against the backdrops of desire and love’s complexities. Fiction , a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, is a collection of broad formal and thematic range. A pair of gloves becomes an erotic keepsake. An Irish family survives the morbid paranoia of contemporary wartime America . The meaning of ‘hello’ mutates through its relationship to the telephone. The creatures of ‘ Free State ’ coinage vanishes from legal tender, and a young woman encounters her first poem in print. If Fiction is often bleak — its version unreliable, its vision unforgiving — it is as often witty and tender and deceptively rhapsodic. It expands the achievement of one of Ireland ’s most original and engaging younger poets. (Also available in Hardback, priced at 20 Euro) ------------------------------- Negotiated Governance and Public Policy in Ireland by George Taylor (Trade Paperback; 22.50 Euro / 28.50 USD / 15.00 UK; 206 pages) Over the past ten years the Irish polity has experienced profound change. The pessimism that had engulfed Irish society during the 1980s has given way to a new found confidence, one that befits its status as an emerging, confident and cosmopolitan European state. This book provides a theoretical examination of this startling turnaround in the fortunes of the Irish polity and details the developments that have taken place in key areas of public policy over the last decade: civil service reform, the welfare state, environmental policy and rural development. George Taylor is Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland, Galway Contents Introduction 1. Negotiated governance in the era of the Celtic Tiger 2. All boats rise on a new tide: reconstructing welfare in the era of the Celtic Tiger 3. Redefining the public: civil service reform in the era of the Celtic Tiger 4. Contestation in the countryside: rural governance in the era of the Celtic Tiger 5. Environmental governance in the era of the Celtic Tiger Conclusion ------------------------------- The Redemption Factory by Sam Millar (Trade Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.50 USD / 9.50 UK; 253 pages) Paul Goodman, a would-be snooker champion working at an abattoir, has never known his father and believes – wrongly – that he deserted him when young. But he is befriended by the one many who holds the key to the mystery of his disappearance, the man responsible for his death. This compelling novel weaves a story about the struggle to acknowledge a wrong, about loyalty and corruption, life and death. ------------------------------- Me and My Bleeding Mouth: The Painful True Story of Gary McCormick by Sue Weller (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 120 pages) "He's not bleeding on my new carpet. If you're going to shoot him, take him somewhere else..." This is the story of a 36 year old man born the year the Irish Troubles began. Arrested at the age of 12 Gary climbed the penal ladder adeptly, ending up in prison on the Isle of Wight for an impetuous bomb hoax. His story infuriates, disturbs and frustrates, but he knows his faults, tries hard to make amends, and whatever's thrown at him he won't give up, or shut up for that matter. Even when the BBC put him in a monastery for six weeks with four other men, to see how they will respond to cloistered life, he causes a stir. ----------------------------------- Highlights from Issue 308 ------------------------- Read Ireland Book News - Issue 308 1972: A Novel of Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution by Morgan Llywelyn (Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 33.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 365 pages) The Irish Century series is the narrative of the epic struggle of the Irish people for independence through the tumultuous twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn's magisterial multi-novel chronicle of that story began with 1916, continued in 1921 and 1949 and now continues with 1972. In 1972, Morgan Llywelyn tells the story of Ireland from 1950-1972 as seen through the eyes of young Barry Halloran, son and grandson of Irish revolutionaries. Northern Ireland has become a running sore, poisoning life on both sides of the Irish border. Following family tradition, at eighteen Barry joins the Irish Republican Army to help complete what he sees as 'the unfinished revolution'. But things are no longer as clear cut as they once were. His first experience of violence in Northern Ireland shocks and disturbs him. Yet he has found a sense of family in the Army which is hard to give up. He makes a partial break by becoming a photographer, visually documenting events in the north rather than physically taking part in them. An unhappy early love affair is followed by a tempestuous relationship with Barbara Kavanagh, a professional singer from America. Events lead Barry into a totally different life from the one he expected, yet his allegiance to the ideal of a thirty-two county Irish republic remains undimmed as the problems, and the violence, of Northern Ireland escalate. Then Barry finds himself in the middle of the most horrific event of all: Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972. ------------------------------- Barefoot in Mullyneeny: A boy’s Journey Towards Belonging by Bryan Gallagher (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 230 pages) Barefoot in Mullyneeny is Bryan Gallagher's evocative tale of a childhood remembered through the people and landscape of Fermanagh, near the beautiful shores of Lough Erne in Ireland. Bryan chronicles a time when all the big boys went to school in bare feet and secretly watched the Saturday night bands and dances in halls lit by Tilley lamps; where it was known to be nothing less than the biblical truth that if you put a horse-hair across the palm of your hand when you were about to be punished at school, the cane would split in two. Gallagher's writing will touch the hearts of those who long for the innocence of childhood and the simplicity of an era long past. Whether relating tales of murderous bicycle chases through the darkened streets of Cavan, of ghosts and fairy forts or the anguish of emigration, this remarkable memoir vividly recreates life in rural Ireland in the 1940s and 50s. For those who thought that life in Ireland was one of the poverty and misery of James Joyce or Frank McCourt, Barefoot in Mullyneeny offers a view of the Ireland of yesteryear that combines the touching, homely nostalgia of Nigel Slater's Toast and Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie with a humorous optimism that is unmistakably Ireland at its best. --------------------------------- Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird (Trade Paperback with endflaps; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 345 pages) Danny Williams is a young litigator in a top city law firm. He is talented, home-owning, in the process of becoming single, and thoroughly sick of his demanding job and his boss. Work's only consolations are glimpses of the beautiful trainee Ellen and the neurotic behaviour of his colleague Albert. One average Wednesday night an old schoolfriend Geordie Wilson arrives at the door of his stylish flat. On the run from a loyalist militia, whose funds he has nicked, Geordie brings everything that Danny thought he had left behind and dumps it on his smart London doorstep. Taking place over an intense and gripping five-day period – set in both London and the fictional town of Ballyglass – the novel deals with love and sex, violence and friendship, the estrangements of the modern workplace and the inflated cost of jelly beans in posh hotels. Utterly Monkey is a wonderfully touching, hilarious and ultimately redemptive novel about aspirations, belonging, loyalty and, most importantly, getting the girl. --------------------------------- A Game with Sharpened Knives by Neil Belton (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 325 pages) In 1939, the life of an Austrian physicist was saved by a revolutionary whose own sentence of execution had been commuted almost twenty years earlier. The physicist was Erwin Schrödinger, charismatic winner of the Nobel prize for Physics in 1931, forced to flee when the Nazis entered Austria; the revolutionary was the Irisch Fuhrer, Eamon de Valera. These are the extraordinary facts behind this extraordinary fiction. Murder is in the air, and on the sea beyond the mouth of the river Liffey. German bombs are dropping, accidentally it is reported, on Dublin. In 1941, Ireland is a country not truly at peace, either with Germany, or with its neighbour across the Irish sea, or in fact with itself. Erwin Schrödinger, bohemian intellectual and emotional enigma, is living in cramped exile in the village of Clontarf on the outskirts of Dublin, with his wife, his lover and their child. A Game with Sharpened Knives is the story of a man foundering on his own desires, a man who often finds it easier to say nothing, for no one in the tense and impoverished city of Dublin is quite what they appear. The first language of this country, as Erwin's Irish lover tells him, is silence. From the winner of the Irish Times prize, a first work of fiction, and a truly magnificent novel. ---------------------------- From Dun Sion to Croke Park: The Autobiography of Micheal O Muircheartaigh (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 260 pages) One day in 1949, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh took part in a competition at Croke Park for an Irish-language commentator’s job. He was just eighteen and had never seen a hurling match in his life, but he got the job, and the rest is broadcasting history. In From Dún Síon to Croke Park, Micheál tells the story of his life and sporting times in his own words. Whether describing the farm where he grew up, the school where he learned to play Gaelic football, the majestic technique of Christy Ring, or the form of one of his greyhounds, Micheál’s prose shimmers with his legendary wit, grace and precision. -------------------------------- A Bit on the Side by William Trevor (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 244 pages) A Bit on the Side is William Trevor’s first collection of stories since the award-winning The Hill Bachelors was published in 2000. Tender, touching and beautifully humane, the dozen new stories contained here explore the subject of adultery, and tell of secret passions, domestic infidelities, office romances, and the broken and unbroken rules of love. -------------------------------- Dublin by Edward Rutherford (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 820 pages) Edward Rutherfurd's great Irish epic reveals the story of the people of Ireland through the focal point of the island's capital city. The epic begins in pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and powerful High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers, the princely Conall and the ravishing Deirdre, whose travails echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From this stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the reader on a graphically realised journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a powerfully-imagined cast of characters - druids and chieftains, monks and smugglers, merchants and mercenaries, noblewomen, rebels and cowards - we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city. ------------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support, which is vital for the continuation of this service! I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland. I very much appreciate your custom. To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button. Please delete the books you do not want and leaving the books you want to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details. You can of course also post your order to: Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-853-2063. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: or All Prices and Rates are in Euro (US Dollar and UK Sterling prices are guidelines based on current exchange rates.) Prices on books reviewed above are firm and discounted from the prices listed on the website. Post + package is charged at cost.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?