OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “SOME WAY OUTA HERE,” BY MARK LAUDEN, “OUT OF TOUCH,” BY RUSTY COATS, AND “FAGGOT,” BY FRANK BILLINGSLEY, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MARCH 15-21.
“Kiss Me: I’m One Quarter Irish.”
I’ve got a T-shirt that says that. I wear it sometimes, but no strangers have ever come up and kissed me, which is probably just as well.
Anyway, I do have a genetic disposition toward St. Patrick’s Day — which, just in case you’ve missed the annual onslaught of green-tinged TV advertising, is this Thursday. And as luck would have it (the luck of the Irish?), we do have two books to highlight that are perfect for the occasion.
“Rose of Skibbereen,” by John McDonnell and “Survival,” by John Fahey are both set at least partly on the Auld Sod. Rounding out the lineup is “Fractured,” an ambitious array of short stories by Erin Britt, an editor turned author.
“ROSE OF SKIBBEREEN,” BY JOHN McDONNELL
This is the beginning of a family saga about Rose Sullivan, an Irish girl who comes to Philadelphia in 1880 and finds love, heartache, loss, and unexpected joy during the tumultuous years around the turn of the century. She marries an Irish mystery man named Sean McCarthy, who has a violent past and a secret life, and he takes her to new heights and depths of passion. The lives of multiple characters, vividly drawn, come together in this series that examines what happens when the rural Irish of the 19th century encounter the breathtaking pace of change in the America of the 20th century. Follow Rose and Sean through the years as their lives take unexpected twists and turns, and they discover the many surprises hidden in the human heart.
“SURVIVAL,” BY JOHN FAHEY
According to John: “There are times when an idyllic childhood in Ireland, even for just a few years, can sustain that child as he grows older, encountering physical abuse and terror. That was so for me between 1949 and 1953.
“Ireland has been in my heart ever since.
“My memoir is about a battering father who would not accept me as his son. It is about my love of Ireland sustaining me, giving me the courage to fight back against despair, to seek a better life through reading and hope and education. It is about never giving up. After a disastrous road accident which scarred my face at 17 and cycling from northeast England and across the Irish Sea to Knock, seeking a miracle, I found the burden of despair lifted from my shoulders.”
“FRACTURED,” BY ERIN BRITT
Writes Erin: “Fractured is a collection that examines brokenness. Through poetry, short fiction, and the personal nonfiction essay, I look at the ways life breaks apart, from the literal breaking of objects to the shattering relationships and of self.”
As an aside, I love the name of Erin’s editing service: Erindipity.