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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Read Ireland

---------------------------------- Read Ireland Book News - Issue 315 ---------------------------------- The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps) by John Mitchell (Paperback; 18.00 Euro / 24.50 USD / 13.00 UK; 220 pages) Mitchel's account of the Repeal campaign, the Famine and the 1848 Rising, which originally appeared in Mitchel's Tennessee-based newspaper, The Southern Citizen, in 1858. Mitchel was a significant and controversial figure. Last Conquest, originally written as a riposte to American Nativist hostility to Famine immigrants, is well known in Famine debates for its claim that the Famine was a deliberate act of genocide by the British government. New in the Classics of Irish History series. --------------------------------- My Struggle for Life by Joseph Keating (Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 306 pages) This eloquent memoir provides an unrivalled insight into the life of a child reared in a working-class Irish Catholic community in late nineteenth-century Britain. No other author succeeds in depicting so vividly the texture of a life delimited by manual work, home and community ties as experienced by Irish migrants of the period. At the same time, it charts the tortuous route by which a young man struggled to free himself from a life of manual labour by using his literary talents to become a journalist and a popular novelist. Published in 1916, it reflects the world and assumptions of an emigre community between the failure of the Fenian movement and the Easter Rising, and it includes a telling vignette of the aged Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa. An insightful picture of the world of those Home Rule supporters who lived outside Ireland emerges from this book. New in the Classics of Irish History series. ------------------------------------- Your Fondest Annie by Annie O’Donnell (Paperback: 18.00 Euro / 24.50 USD / 13.00 UK; 154 pages) Annie O'Donnell left her native Galway for America in 1898, one of 15,175 Irish women who left that year; they far outnumbered the men, and most of them went into domestic service. She became friends with Jim Phelan on the ship to Philadelphia. He was a 22-year-old farmer from Co. Kilkenny who had run away from home during Sunday mass to join his uncle, a tilesetter in Indianapolis. Annie went to work as a children's nurse for the W. L. Mellon family of Pittsburgh. Her letters to Jim Phelan, published here for the first time, are a unique contribution to the growing literature on women's emigration: they provide a sustained three-year narrative of her life as a children's nurse. Annie O'Donnell had been well educated in Ireland and her letters are lively and enjoyable to read. Maureen Murphy has provided an introduction and notes to the letters. Annie O'Donnell (1880-1959) was born in Lippa, near Spiddal, Co. Galway. She emigrated to America in 1898, remaining there and marrying James P. Phelan. She lived in Pittsburgh until her death. New in the Classics of Irish History series. ------------------------------------ Irish Art of Controversy by Lucy McDiarmid (Trade Paperback; 20.00Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 278 pages) Controversy offers high drama: in it people speak lines as colourful and passionate as any heard on stage. While the Irish are no more combative than any other race, language and debate have always been central to the public narrative of their lives, offering individuals a vicarious involvement in a collective destiny. In the years before the 1916 Rising, controversy in Ireland was 'popular', wrote George Moore, especially 'when accompanied with the breaking of chairs'. The witty and illuminating book offers accounts of five cultural controversies of the twentieth century: the 39 Hugh Lane paintings contested by Dublin and London; Father O'Hickey's fight for the Irish language; Lady Gregory and Bernard Shaw's defence of the Abbey Theatre against Dublin Castle; the 1913 'Save the Dublin Kiddies' campaign, and the long-running debate about Roger Casement's diaries. In its original treatment of the rich material Yeats called 'intemperate speech', reflected in private letters, archival sources, cartoons, ballads and editorials, The Irish Art of Controversy suggests new ways of thinking about modern Ireland and shows how contention functioned centrally in the construction of Irish national identity. ---------------------------------- Irish Blood, English Heart, Ulster Fry: Return Journeys to Ireland by Annie Caulfield (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 285 pages) Annie Caulfield's early years were spent by the seaside in Ireland. However, the family shifted to Sixties London and soon she wasn't sure who she was - was she English, was she Irish, and if so, what kind of Irish? Watching the news of The Troubles, she was unable to recognise the country she'd left behind. On return journeys to visit her family over the last thirty years, she discovers how much The Troubles have caused weird and successful aspects of the country's life and history to be overlooked. Caulfield's background is religiously and politically mixed, giving her a unique and often astute perspective on The Troubles. This is an Irish emigrant's tale, asking whether you can ever really go back to your roots. If you were a punk rocker when others were on hunger strike, can you really put your hand on your heart and say my people'? If you get a headache and go home to watch Big Brother on 12th July, are you just too flippant to understand your own country? There are many books on the recent history of Northern Ireland, but none give such a funny insight into the lives of ordinary people as Annie Caulfield's affectionate portrait of Alternative Ulster'. ------------------------------------ Welcome to Hell: One Irishman’s Fight for Life Inside the Bangkok Hilton by Colin Martin (Trade Paperback; 11.00 Euro / 14.50 USD / 7.50 UK; 231 pages, with black-and-white photo insert) Written from his cell and smuggled out page by page, Colin Martin’s autobiography chronicles an innocent man’s struggle to survive inside one of the world’s most dangerous prisons. This book is not for the faint hearted; Welcome to Hell takes you behind the bars of the Bandkok Hilton. After being swindled out of a fortune, Colin was let down by the hopelessly corrupt Thai police. Forced to rely upon his own resources, he tracked down the man who conned him and, drawn into a fight, accidentally stabbed and killed that man’s bodyguard. Colin was arrested, denied a fair trial, convicted of murder and thrown into prison – where he remained for 8 years. Honest and often disturbing – but told with a surprising humour – Welcome to Hell is the remarkable story of how Colin was denied justice again and again. In his extraordinary account he describes the swindle, his arrest and vicious torture by police, the unfair trial, and the 8 years of brutality and squalor he was forced to endure. -------------------------------- UDA: Inside the Heart of Loyalist Terror by Henry McDonald and Jim Cusack (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 435 pages, with black-and-white photo insert) A history of sectarian slaughter, bloody feuding and gangsterism has made the Ulster Defence Association infamous. In UDA, two distinguished journalists, Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald, tell the story of how a popular mass movement broke into rival criminal factions. They chronicle the UDA's most notorious killers and brutal murders; reveal its murky relationship with the British and Unionist establishment; and, using exclusive insider accounts, trace the rise and fall of C Company the west Belfast division that evolved into a killing machine under the leadership of Johnny Adair. Cusack and McDonald tell how the cult of personality, the lure of easy money and bitter rivalries succeeded in doing what thirty years of republican violence failed to tearing the heart of loyalism apart. -------------------------------------- The Dublin Review Number 19 Summer 2005 edited by Brendan Barrington (Paperback; 7.50 Euro / 10.00 USD / 5.00 UK, 110 pages) This issue contains: Selina Guinness on the Future of Farming; ‘Lost Time Accidents’: Brian Dillon in Dungeness; Ann Marie Hourihane visits Knock; Church and State in El Salvador by Maurice Walsh; Civil War Secrets by Noel Duffy; Conor O’Callaghan: ‘Hands’; Stories by Kevin Barry and Clare Wigfall ---------------------------------- The Dublin Review Number 18 Spring 2005 edited by Brendan Barrington (Paperback; 7.50 Euro / 10.00 USD / 5..00 UK; 110 pages) This issue contains: Two Visits to Kosovo by Molly McCloskey; Solus Rex: Fiction by Patrick Fitzgerald; Shylock’s Lament by Harry Clifton; ‘Foreignism’: A Philadelphia Diary by Vona Groarke; House of Hutchinson, House of Murphy by Rosita Boland; Barcelona, 1975 by Colm Toibin; How to eat a fir-tree and keep yr lips moist: fiction by Tom Mac Intyre; Labyrinth of the revolution by Justin Quinn. ---------------------------------- Highlights from the Previous Issue ---------------------------------- 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. ------------------------------- 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. --------------------------- Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara Paperback; 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 (Paperback; 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 (Paperback; 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 Paperback; 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! -------------------------------- 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. ------------------------------------------ Thank you for your continued support. It 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 - 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 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 ------------------------------------- SPECIAL OFFER: ORDER ANY 3 BOOKS FROM THE NEWSLETTERS ABOVE, AND CHOOSE A 4TH BOOK FOR FREE! (FREE BOOK WOULD BE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE OF THE 4 BOOKS.)
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