Irish American Writers & Artists

March 28, 2012

Kevin Holohan reads at Watchung, Thursday, March 29th 7pm

Filed under: Essay,Events,Literature — by johnleemedia @ 6:20 pm
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Dublin native reads from The Brother’s Lot
The mix of dire experiences that goes into the education dished out at the Brothers of Godly Coercion School for Young Boys of Meager Means adds up to a mordantly funny debut from Dublin native Holohan. Young Finbar Sullivan, newly arrived from Cork, finds himself at the mercy of priestly pedagogues, from the scheming Brother Loughlin to the sadistic Brother Kennedy, while trying to fit in among his cynical and abused classmates.
The blighted prospects of post-WWII Dublin get a lightly satirical treatment, as with the teacher who sees a chance to dispense punishment as “the best excuse for vindictiveness that had come his way,” or the adviser who lists “junior clerical assistant in the Department of Fisheries” as the brightest of grim career options, but Holohan’s touch gets angrier as institutional decay transforms to rot, absurdity becomes bitterness, and depictions of characters and the school itself get etched with an increasingly brutal touch. The collapse of both the Order of the Brothers of Godly Coercion and the seat of tainted education they foist on their lower-middle-class pupils are fitting revenge, and the little hope Holohan holds out lends an acid edge to this cutting depiction of a system collapsing under the weight of its own corruption.
Kevin was born in Dublin and after a primary and secondary school education at Christian Brothers school attended University College Dublin where he studied Pure English, the system’s third most unemployable degree. After graduating he spent six years teaching English as a Foreign Languish in Castilla La Mancha, Spain where he learned to love Flamenco and his proudest achievement was to eventually read Don Quixote in the original. He moved to New York in 1996 where he now lives with his wife and five-year-old son. The Brothers’ Lot is his first novel.

The Brothers’ Lot (Paperback)

$14.36

ISBN-13: 9781936070916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Akashic Books, 4/2011

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February 2, 2012

IAW&A in NJ! Authors Kathleen Hill and Mary Pat Kelly head to Montclair

Filed under: Essay,Events,Film,Literature — by johnleemedia @ 7:03 pm
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Reading, Discussion, Wine and Cheese at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ, co-sponsored by Irish American Writers and Artists

The Irish American Writers & Artists takes the show on the road with a reading and reception at the Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ on Thurs., Feb 16, 2012 featuring two noted authors.

Writer Mary Pat Kelly’s award-winning PBS documentaries and accompanying books include her historical novel Galway Bay, now in development as a TV mini series, To Live for Ireland, a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume and the political party he led; Home Away from Home: The Yanks in Ireland, a history of U.S. forces in Northern Ireland during World War II; and Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason, a portrayal of the only African-American sailors to take a World War II warship into combat, whose first foreign port was Belfast. She wrote and directed the dramatic feature film Proud, starring Ossie Davis and Stephen Rea, based on the USS Mason story. She’s written Martin Scorsese: The First Decade and Martin Scorsese: A Journey; Good to Go: The Rescue of Scott O’Grady from Bosnia; and a novel, Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine.

Kathleen Hill teaches in the M.F.A. program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her first novel Still Waters in Niger was named a notable book by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Award. The French translation, Eaux Tranquilles, was short-listed for the Prix Femina Étranger. Her second novel Who Occupies This House was recently published and was selected as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXV, and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories.

Watchung Booksellers is at 54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair, NJ 07042 (phone: 973.744.7177). The event starts at 7 PM.

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