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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Read Ireland

To Main Index To receive this news via email, click HERE. No Message is necessary. ---- Read Ireland Book News - Issue 316 ---------------------------------- New Dubliners: Short Stories edited by Oona Frawley (Hardback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 154 pages) It has been 100 years since James Joyce began to write the celebrated stories about his home city and its people, holding up his ‘nicely polished looking glass’ and preserving on paper a legendary snapshot of Dublin at the start of the twentieth century. But would Joyce recognise the Dublin of today? This book presents eleven individual, contemporary Dublins, each fresh from the pen of a leading Irish author, each a vivid portrait of the city 100 years on. Dense with quiet epiphanies and possessing a peculiar grace, this book is a unique collection. Authors: Joseph O’Connor, Roddy Doyle, Ivy Banninster, Desmond Hogan, Colum McCann, Bernard Mac Laverty, Maeve Binchy, Anthony Glavin, Dermot Bolger, Clare Boylan and Frank McGuinness. ----------------------------------- Kathy’s Story by Kathy O’Beirne (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 220 pages) Kathy O'Beirne's earliest memories are of being battered and sexually abused. Unable to confide in anyone about the beatings she regularly received from her father or about the boys who made her play dirty games, she became withdrawn and self-destructive, leading a psychiatrist to diagnose her as 'a child with a troublesome mind'. As a result, aged only eigh,t Kathy was removed from the family home and incarcerated in a series of institutions. In the first, a reformatory school run by a holy order on behalf of the Irish State, she was raped by a visiting priest. When she tried to get help, she was transferred to a psychiatric hospital, where the abuse continued, along with the administration of large amounts of drugs and electric shock treatment. At the age of twelve, Kathy was sent to a Magdalen laundry. These notorious workhouses operated in Ireland throughout the twentieth century and during that time thousands of young girls, some orphans, some pregnant and some considered 'at risk' in the community, were forced to slave in horrendous conditions. Locked away from their families and the outside world, many of the girls were cruelly punished and sexually abused by the staff or lay visitors. Kathy fell victim to one of these predators and gave birth to baby Annie just weeks before her fourteenth birthday. The little girl had a serious bowel condition but lived to the age of ten, providing the only light in Kathy's blighted life. After all that she has suffered, Kathy has now come forward to tell her harrowing story in the hope that more will be done to help survivors of institutional abuse. She recounts her tragic experiences in unflinching detail but what is most remarkable is the strength of character that shines through such a dark tale. It is this strength that has enabled her to survive and fired her continuing struggle for justice. ----------------------------------- Fallen Star by Joan O’Neill (Paperback; 10 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 260 pages) In 1950s Ireland, Sixteen year old Stella's innocent childhood is shattered when charismatic Charlie comes into her life. Where Stella's family struggle to make ends meet, Charlie can have anything he wants, and that includes Stella, who is rapidly falling for him. Then Stella discovers she is pregnant. Suddenly Charlie is gone, and Stella is left with only the bracelet he gave her. Stella's devoutly religious mother, horrifed by the scandal, sends her errant daughter to a Magdalene Laundry convent, miles from home, where in return for daily and rigorous and endless chores, Stella will be able to have her baby in secret. The convent is bleak and austere, the nuns themselves cruel and lacking compassion. When Stella's baby girl is born, it will be taken from her for adoption, the only answer is to run away with her child. But Stella didn't expect the struggle and pain of being a single mother - with her family turning against her, who can she rely on for help. Out of the blue, comes support and love from an unexpected quarter, to finally make Stella's story a happy one. ----------------------------------- The Medieval Castles of Ireland by David Sweetman (Large Format Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 32.00 USD / 19.00 UK; 220 pages, with black-and-white photos throughout) While 'an Englishman's home is hs castle', in Ireland all castles were built for defensive purposes. Medieval castles of Ireland traces the development of the Irish Medieval castle, drawing on the research and records of the Archaeological Survey and David Sweetman's 30 years of experience in medieval archaeology. This book also benefits from the results of many recent castle excavations. it is the most thorough and up-to-date book available on Irish castles with 200 original drawings and photographs. Supreme Sacrifice: The Story of Eamonn Ceannt 1881-1916 1856354660 – Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 160 pages, with black-and-white photos throughout Éamonn Ceannt was one of 15 men executed for their roles in the 1916 Easter Rising, but until now his story has never been told. This biography charts the life of Éamonn Ceannt from his school days in County Galway to his execution in Dublin on May 7, 1916, for his role as a leader of the rising and a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. ------------------------------------- The Hill Road by Patrick O’Keeffe (Hardback; 22.50 Euro / 30.00 USD / 16.00 UK; 260 pages) In four unforgettable novellas, linked by setting and circumstance, Patrick O'Keeffe creates a vision of rural Ireland that is clear-eyed, evocative, humorous and true. The townland of Kileedy in the 1970s is at risk of being trapped for ever in an earlier version of itself, a time when shell-shocked soldiers return from the trenches, and convent orphans can be billeted as servants on poor farmers, when a glamorous Irish American finds her liberated ways mean flirting is flirting with danger, and a meeting on a train means the postman's widow must face the past. Patrick O'Keefe's Ireland is a precarious world, but it is also a place of natural beauty, of laughter, of family closeness, a place where stories can change lives. ---------------------------------- The Friends of Rathlin Island by Stewart Dalby (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 311 pages) Three divers working for the Police of are shot dead as they step ashore on the Ulster mainland after leaving Rathlin, an island in the straits between Northern Ireland and Scotland. The killings appear to be sectarian and could spark a return to violence in the Province after years of uneasy peace. A clue lies in a document left on Rathlin with Jackie Wilson, an anthropologist. He believes he is a neutral bystander in the age-old conflict, but in reality he is buffeted by conflicting loyalties. Pursued by all sides, he tries to unlock the secret of the document. Gradually he discovers that the seas round Rathlin hold secrets that could change the future of Northern Ireland. But at the same time he becomes painfully aware that there is no sitting on the fence in Ireland, as he confronts his past and his life in terms of love, commitment and betrayal. ---------------- Available Again: ---------------- Women in Ireland 1800-1918: A Documentary History by Maria Luddy (Trade Paperback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 350 pages) Women in Ireland 1800-1918 presents a valuable and significant collection of over 100 sources and documents relating to the public and private aspects of women's lives in Ireland during the period 1800-1918. The documents reveal aspect's of women's working lives, educational experiences, involvement in politics and of their private lives such as contraception, childbirth, love, marriage and religion. Each section has a comprehensive introduction which discusses the context of the documents. As the first major survey of Irish women's lives, it will appeal to those who want a deeper understanding of how women of all classes lived their lives and it will prove indispensable to second and third level students, those attending Women's Studies courses, as well as a wide general readership interested in assessing the role of women in nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish history. -------------------------------------- The Dancer by Christine Dwyer Hickey (Trade Paperback; 12.00 Euro / 15.00 USD / 9.00; 350 pages) Set in 1918, The Dancer centres around three people, sisters Kate and Maude and their younger brother, the dancer of the title. A story of contrasts: kindness and cruelty; loving marriage and loveless; intrigue, betrayal and loss, The Dancer is a powerful evocation of female sexuality, an historical novel of extraordinary immediacy and vitality. ------------------------- Highlights from 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; 20.0 0Euro / 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. ------------------------------------------ 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, 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 ---- To Main Index To receive this news via email, click HERE. No Message is necessary.
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