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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Read Ireland

To celebrate the launch of an important new Irish Interest Book, Pluto Press have given us 5 free copies to give away to Read Ireland Customers! BLOODY SUNDAY: Trauma, Pain and Politics: A new book by Patrick Hayes and Jim Campbell, Published by Pluto Press, 2005 The events of Bloody Sunday are perhaps the most notorious of all the grave crises in Northern Ireland¹s history and remain an unresolved issue. As the Saville Inquiry prepares to submit its report these events are once again at the forefront of public consciousness. Bloody Sunday tackles the subject from a wholly new angle covering both the political and psychological aspects and contextualising events socially, politically and historically. (More info on the book in the first review below.) For further details and information on other Pluto titles please go to of Pluto's books can be ordered from Read Ireland). To get your hands on one of these free copies, simply email your request to The winners will be chosen at random and entries close Friday, 12 August at 5 pm Irish time. ---------------------------------- Read Ireland Book News – Issue 314 ---------------------------------- Bloody Sunday: Trauma, Pain and Politics by Patrick Hayes and Jim Campbell (Trade Paperback; 22.00 Euro / 28.00 USD / 15.00 UK; 208 pages) A critical analysis of the British government and its role in the events of Bloody Sunday Detailed account of the traumatic aftermath and human cost of violence in Northern Ireland Contains key material on the impact of the Saville Inquiry Of all the grave crises in Northern Ireland's history, the events of Bloody Sunday are perhaps the most notorious. The subject of an independent inquiry that is the longest and most expensive the British government has ever undertaken, this yet to be resolved issue continues to be one of the most significant events in the recent history of the Troubles. This book tackles the subject from a new angle that covers both the political and psychological aspects of what happened. Based on extensive interviews with families whose relatives were killed by British soldiers, it is a record of the trauma that they have suffered. Setting Bloody Sunday in social, political and historical contexts, the authors examine the events of the day itself, the aftermath, and the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, mourning and storytelling. They conclude with accounts about state and community responses to the trauma, and the impact and implications of the Saville Inquiry, which has allowed family members to express publicly their stories about the events of Bloody Sunday. (Also Available in Hardback, priced at 65 Euro) ---------------------------------------- Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 325 pages, with 8-page full colour photo insert) The closest you're going to get to a Bono biography. Music journalist Michka Assays met Bono in London in 1980 and was one of the first journalists to champion U2 outside Ireland and the UK. He has spent two years putting this book together with Bono, interviewing the global star at his home in Dublin, as well as in Paris, Bologna and the French Riviera. The book is basically an ongoing dialogue between two friends and a unique insight into what makes the U2 frontman's brain tick. ------------------------------------ Bono: In the Name of Love by Mick Wall (Hardback; 24.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 17.00 UK; 330 pages) What other rock star has the numbers for both Nelson Mandela and George W. Bush on his speed-dial? Who else could have convinced the US to return USD435 million in cancelled Third World debt last year? One of the most unique and inspiring figures in popular music today, not only is Bono the singer of the internationally successful U2, he is also the most overtly politicised rock superstar since John Lennon and a far more effective lobbyist, fundraiser and political buccaneer than even Bob Geldof. Bono is one of the very few major rock artists to open up about his deepest spiritual beliefs and not be despised for it. With a long history of campaigning behind him - from the movingly rousing 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' to the moment he phoned then US President Bill Clinton live on stage as images of war-ravaged Sarajevo flashed across giant screens behind him - politics and rock n' roll have always been inextricably linked in Bono's mind. Yet the question remains: why? Why does he do all these things when he could be lying by a pool enjoying the sun? This definitive, in- depth biography of Bono explores this and countless other questions. From his boyhood in Dublin raised by a Protestant mother and Catholic father, to his mother's sudden death whilst he was still a teenager, through to the formation of U2, Bono's is one of the great rock stories. ----------------------------------- The Broken Boy by Patrick Cockburn (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 310 pages, with 8-page black-and- white photo insert) It is very easy to get polio. Patrick Cockburn was six when he woke up one day in the summer of 1956 with a headache and a sore throat. His parents, Claud and Patricia Cockburn, had recently returned to Ireland, to their house in East Cork, careless of the fact that a polio epidemic had broken out in Cork City. He caught the disease and was taken to the fever hospital where, alone for the first time in his life, he was kept in isolation. The virus attacks the nerves of the brain and the spinal cord leading to paralysis of the muscles. Patrick could no longer walk. The Broken Boy is at once a memoir of Patrick Cockburn's own experience of polio, a portrait of his parents, both prominent radicals, and the story of the Cork epidemic, the last great polio epidemic in the world, affecting 50,000 people. This terrible disease always behaved strangely, attacking the middle classes rather than the poor, children rather than adults, and striking fear everywhere. In Cork the authorities tried to suppress mention of the epidemic in the press; in the rest of Ireland people from Cork were treated as pariahs. Believing Patrick was dying because of poor conditions in the hospital Claud Cockburn took him home. At first he could only crawl or move in a wheelchair, but gradually he learned to walk again. In 1957, the vaccine that conquered polio reached Ireland. ---------------------------------------- Press Delete: The Decline and Fall of the Irish Press by Ray Burke (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 437 pages) The Irish Press was once the biggest-selling newspaper in Ireland, read in the homes of political leaders, opinion- shapers and half of the nation. It was credited with helping to spread interest in Gaelic Games in the newly- independent Ireland and was the launchpad for numerous Irish writers, including Patrick Kavanagh, Brendan Behan, Edna O'Brien, Ben Kiely, John Banville and Neil Jordan. Founded with the subscriptions of tens of thousands of Irish people at home and in the US, it gradually became the private business of a branch of the de Valera family. Decline was rapid after control of the paper passed into the third generation of the family and the paper was converted into tabloid format. A disastrous partnership with US newspaper mogul, Ralph Ingersoll, rent the business asunder. A lengthy and fatal court case followed. A one- quarter share in the business was sold to its traditional arch-rival, Independent Newspapers. After much wrangling with the unions, the Irish Press published its last edition in May 1995. Press Delete is a major work on the final years of the Irish Press. Ray Burke chronicles the declining fortunes of the paper and reports on the various gaffes that were an indicator of the overall malaise at Burgh Quay. His book contains extensive new material on the 1933 Dáil debate on the Irish Press and a first lengthy interview with Dr Eamon de Valera. ---------------------------------- Selected Essays of Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill edited by Oona Frawley (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 17.00 USD / 9.50 UK; 220 pages) This book gathers together for the first time the prose work of this exceptional Irish poet. Leading the reader through the West Kerry landscape of her childhood and on pilgrimages to Glendalough, Kerry and Turkey, the author muses on writing, the Irish language, folklore and mythology. Written over two decades, the book provides a new perspective on a changing Ireland, a window into the 'psychic realities' of Irish culture. -------------------------- New in Paperback This Week: ---- ---------------------- Tis Herself by Maureen O'Hara (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 380 pages, with 2 photo inserts) Maureen O'Hara was born for Technicolour. Her fiery red hair and piercing green eyes made the screen crackle with electricity. Her bold Irish bearing cast her as the prototypical strong, determined woman struggling in a man's world. During a career that has spanned some sixty years, she has earned a reputation as a fiercely independent thinker, a tireless champion of causes, and, of course, a premier actress. 'TIS HERSELF chronicles a standout career that includes such timeless British and Hollywood films as THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, RIO GRANDE, OUR MAN IN HAVANA, MCLINTOCK! and THE PARENT TRAP. Going behind the scenes and delivering intimate memories about her co-stars and directors, including John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Tyrone Power, John Candy, James Stewart, Charles Laughton, Lucille Ball and Rex Harrison, O'Hara's first-person reminiscences afford readers an unprecedented view of Hollywood's 'Golden Age'. ---------------------------------- The Empress of Ireland by Christopher Robbins (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 380 pages) Christopher Robbins was a bright but impoverished young journalist when he met Brian Desmond Hurst in the early 1970s. Hurst was then in the twilight of his career as Ireland's most prolific film director -- many years had passed since he'd made his most famous film, an adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Alastair Sim in 1951. But Brian's formidable desire, energy and joie de vivre were still much in evidence, and Robbins was contracted to write the screenplay for Hurst's swansong, a vast biblical epic starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Redgrave. Thus began a friendship that lasted until Brian's death in 1986. It was a period full of laughter, eccentricity, laughter, travel, adventure -- and laughter. They made an odd pair -- the elderly, theatrical and larger-than-life Hurst and the young, slightly naive but keen Robbins -- but Chris now acknowledges the debt he owes his mentor: a debt of friendship he wants to repay. This wonderful book is the result. The Box Office Blockbuster never happened, but in trying to get the project off the ground Chris had entered Brian's world. This, his memoir of that time and their friendship, is a wonderfully engaging and often hilarious portrait of one of the last great eccentrics. --------------------------------- Havoc, In Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 305 pages) England in the 1630s: turbulent times, with fears of foreign invasion and Catholic conspiracies rife. John Brigge, a farmer and coroner, is respected in his North Country community, but harbours a dangerous secret: he is also a Catholic. When he is called to adjudicate on the murder of a new-born child, Brigge finds himself drawn into matters he would rather avoid. Katherine Shay, an Irishwoman, is accused of killing her baby, and the town's powerful Puritan faction demands her immediate death. Brigge suspects their haste has little to do with a quest for justice. What are they hiding? And does he really want to know? ------------------------------------- Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (9.00 Euro / 12.00 USD / 6.00 UK; 584 pages) From the no. 1 bestselling author of PS, I Love You comes an enchanting novel about two childhood friends whom fate and destiny can't help toying with! From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family moves from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good. Rosie's lost without her best friend. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland. Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each other's lives but neither of them knows whether their friendship can really survive the years and miles - as well as new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them out of each others' arms, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything - including their friendship - for true love? Destiny, Alex and Rosie discover, is a funny thing and fate isn't quite done with them yet! ---------------- Available Again: ---------------- Slanguage: A Dictionary of Irish Slang by Bernard Share (Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 11.00 UK; 365 pages) Are you a holy terror? Are you a go-boy? Could you live on the skin of a rasher? Or are you so hungry that you eat a farmer's arse through a hedge? When you're on the razz, do you get so buckled, crippled and scuttered that you can't get your back outa the scratcher in the morning? Never mind the answers: if you understand the questions you are in Slanguage country. If you don't, you need to be. This is the dictionary that glosses the words that real Irish people use in the streets each day, every day. Slang is elusive. Some words and phrases are always there. Others slip in and out of usage according to the whims of fashion. This expanded edition of the standard dictionary of Irish slang includes many entries not in the original edition. It has dropped a few that have fallen out of favour and has revised others. In all, this edition is 25 per cent longer than its predecessor. It will confirm Bernard Share's invaluable book in its position as the major work of its kind, combining scholarship and a keen sense of fun. "Slanguage" does justice to it by taking it seriously, but not too seriously. ------------------------- Highlights from Issue 313 ------- ------------------ This is the Country by William Wall (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 272 pages) A startling light is cast into Ireland's darker corners in this novel by the author of 'THE MAP OF TENDERNESS'. In an Ireland far removed from the familiar images of travel brochures, a bright teenager is heading for trouble: son of a single mother who has given up, rarely at school, taking drugs, and hovering on the fringes of the city's criminal underworld. When he falls for Pat The Baker's sister his life changes irrevocably, not least because when she gets pregnant, Pat breaks his legs. But as he tries to make a new start and adjust to being a lover and father, he realises he cannot evade vengeance forever. This is the Country is a hard-hitting, tense and deeply moving novel that sets power and corruption against the fragile defences of love, friendship and family. As gritty as it is tender, as funny as it is dark, it tells a riveting tale of survival against the odds. ---------------------------------- The Famine in Mayo: A Portrait from Contemporary Sources 1845-1850 compiled and edited by Ivor Hamrock (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 150 pages, with black- and-white illustrations throughout) The Great Famine in Ireland was one of the defining moments of Irish history. It marked a watershed in the history of the country causing a change so complete in the Irish social and economic fabric, that the people's sensibilities would never be the same again. No longer could Irish people trust the land to provide constant sustenance. No longer could they rely on whatever security of tenure was allowed by the landlords, and more importantly they learned that their English political masters cared little for their plight. This book is a portrait of the lives and deaths of the people as recorded by witnesses in books, newspapers and official records of that horrific period. --------------------------- The Magnificent Irish Wolfhound by Mary McBryde (Large Hardback; 70.00 Euro / 90.00 USD / 50.00 UK; 335 pages, with colour and black-and-white photos throughout) The Irish Wolfhound, the biggest of all dog breeds, has an ancient history, dating back some 3,000 years. These giant- sized hounds were used for hunting wolf, deer and wild boar, and they were even used in battle to pull men off horseback. However, by the 19th Century numbers had dwindled, and following the Irish Famine of 1845, the breed almost died out. Fortunately, a revival took place, and today the Irish Wolfhound has a strong, enthusiastic following worldwide. This is the most comprehensive book to date on the Irish Wolfhound - indeed, it is one of the most impressive books ever published on a single breed. The Irish Wolfhound is traced through its chequered history to its emergence as an impressive show dog and a lovable, gentle companion. Extensive coverage is given to choosing and rearing a Wolfhound puppy, with particular emphasis on diet and exercise during the vital growing period. The Breed Standard is analysed in detail, and there is expert guidance on training the Wolfhound for the show ring. Using her extensive experience, the author gives invaluable advice on breeding Wolfhounds, and there is a complete section on health care and breed associated conditions. Illustrated with more than 200 top-quality colour photographs showing the breed in all aspects, this is essential reading for all Wolfhound enthusiasts. --------------------------------- An End to Flight by Vincent Banville (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 235 pages) Michael Painter, an Irishman teaching in a Catholic Mission School in Nigeria, is, by temperament and choosing, an observer. Boredom and the fear of emotional involvement seem always to prevent him from taking a decisive leap. And so, as the relief planes lift the European doctors, teachers and priests out of a country convulsed by a violent Civil War they cannot comprehend, Painter remains behind. Still in search of something to give meaning to his life, Painter is submerged in the conflict as rival armies shuttle back and forth across the enormous battlefield, wreaking identical cruelties, slaughtering and being slaughtered. For Painter, as for the starving Biafrans, there is no real end to flight. In a spare, muted style, Vincent Banville communicates the horror of Africa at war in a work of extraordinary power and depth. This is a timely reissue of a celebrated and award-winning novel that paints a picture of the beginnings of a struggle that endures to this day. ----------------------------------- 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 patronage. To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review, 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 We have added a new feature to the Read Ireland website. It is a page listing ONLY the newest books added to or updated on the website. This new feature page will itself be superseded at least 3 times per month. It is the perfect way to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of Irish Interest publishing. Please visit often! If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
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