Irish American Writers & Artists

July 14, 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: Gemma Whelan

Filed under: Literature — by tjenglish @ 3:23 pm

You do not want to miss the new novel by IAW&A member GEMMA WHELAN entitled FIONA: STOLEN CHILD, described as a “captivating odyssey” by a writer who “is a natural born storyteller with a brilliant eye for character and description. Her writing oozes class.” FIONA: STOLEN CHILD tells the story of an Irish writer living in NYC who has been running from her past since she left rural Cregora, Ireland for boarding school. Her past catches up with her, many years later, when her thinly veiled autobiographical novel is optioned for a movie. Working as the film’s consultant, Fiona unearths deep secrets, relives childhood trauma, and connects with an estranged family thrust back into her life. As her history opens upon her, Fiona must stop running and confront her secret shame: her long-held sense of responsibility over the death of her little sister.

GEMMA WHELAN, author of FIONA: STOLEN CHILD, is an Irish-born theater director and educator who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she directed more than 60 stage productions and was founding artistic director of GemArt and Wilde Irish Productions. Gemma is an award-winning screenwriter and film director. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

For more information on this dazzling new novel, visit the web site for FIONA: STOLEN CHILD at: 

July 6, 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: Buster Keaton

Filed under: Film — by tjenglish @ 6:05 pm

The great BUSTER KEATON was born in 1895 to an Irish American father named Joe Keaton, a Vaudeville performer and snake-oil salesman from Indiana. Buster Keaton started as a child performer and eventually moved to Hollywood where, along with Charlie Chaplin, he became the biggest comedy star of the Silent Era.

This week there are two new DVD releases of Keaton’s work that any aficionado of classic physical comedy will want to check out. One is a remastered Blu-ray disk of STEAMBOAT BILL JR., one of Buster’s best full-length features. Another is a new disc entitled LOST KEATON comprised of numerous short films by Keaton that were recently rediscovered.

If you are already a Keaton fan, you know how significant these new presentations of Keaton’s work are; if you have not yet discovered the brilliance of Buster Keaton, do yourself a favor and get up to speed. You can start with these new discs or check out THE GENERAL, Keaton’s masterpiece, a film that Orson Welles once called “the greatest American movie ever made.”

For more on Buster Keaton, please visit the IAW&A website, go to the Hall of Fame page and click on the name of Buster Keaton.

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