‘TIS: A MEMOIR
In 1996, Frank McCourt stunned the world with his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, "Angela’s Ashes." The story of his childhood in the slums of Limerick has sold more than 4 million copies and has been made into a film which will be released this fall. "’Tis" picks up where "Ashes" left off: with the 19 year-old McCourt on the deck of the boat Irish Oak bound for his dreamland, America. His memoir poignantly captures the emigrant experience, from boarding houses to working on the docks to exhortations to "stick with his own kind." At the heart of the book is his complicated relationship with his mother Angela, who finally escapes the poverty of Ireland and joins her sons in New York in 1959. Published by Scribner. 367 pp. $26.
Patrick J. Dowling
Patrick Dowling, a longstanding member of the San Francisco Irish community before his recent death at 94, presents a portrait of Irish immigration into the West Coast. Founder of the Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco, Dowling spent many years researching and collecting photographs for this his second book. A collection of biographies, the book includes such characters as Timothy Murphy, who became a Mexican citizen before the American conquest, and Thomas Sweeney, who led an invasion of Canada by the Fenians. Published by Scottwall Associates, 95 Scott St., San Francisco, CA, 94117. 515 pp., $27.95.
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Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom moved to New York 12 years ago and his adopted city permeates his work, melding with the sights and sounds of Ireland. Salty Heaven began life in a cottage that the singer rented on a small town called Birr. All but one of the songs were written there, and later produced in London’s Abbey Road. The result is an album both poignant and wistful. On Shanachie Entertainment.