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From Maeve Binchy's earliest writings to the most recent, her work is filled with wisdom and common sense and also a sharp, often witty voice that is insightful and reaches out to her readers around the world and of all ages. Whether it is one of her best-selling novels or a short story, Maeve shows us that times may have changed, but people often remain the same: they fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friends whose secrets are shared; they go on holidays and celebrate new jobs . . .
A Few of the Girls is a glorious collection of the very best of her short story writing, stories that were written over the decades some published in magazines, others for friends as gifts, many for charity benefits. The stories are all filled with the signature warmth and humor that have always been an essential part of Maeve s appeal."
- ISBN-13: 9781101947418
- ISBN-10: 1101947411
- Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
- Publish Date: March 2016
- Page Count: 336
Fresh stories from the Emerald Isle
March is a lucky month for readers who love Ireland—a country with a rich narrative tradition, where stories and poems are considered everyday currency. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we’re spotlighting three new titles that prove the country’s memorable characters and storytelling legacy live on.
AN ENDURING LEGACY
Timothy Egan, meticulous historian and crackerjack story-teller, offers a rousing biography of renegade leader Thomas Francis Meagher in The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero.
Meagher, a native of Waterford, Ireland, who fought for the Union in the American Civil War, has a personal history of mythical proportions. At the age of 25, he spearheaded an unsuccessful revolt against the British and was exiled to a penal colony in Tasmania. Less than a year later, he resurfaced in New York, where he was celebrated as a hero, and he went on to command the Irish Brigade—a rag-tag crew of immigrants and outlaws—in some of the Civil War’s most cutthroat conflicts. He later served as territorial governor of Montana. Egan sheds new light on the indomitable Irishman’s final days in this fascinating and far-flung yarn.
A self-described “lapsed” Irish American, Egan—winner of the National Book Award for his 2007 chronicle of the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time—writes in a spirited style that’s perfectly matched to Meagher’s remarkable life.
A NEW VOICE
Already a literary sensation overseas, Sara Baume, winner of the 2015 Hennessy New Irish Writer Award, delivers a remarkably accomplished debut in Spill Simmer Falter Wither, a captivating novel that features a man-redeemed-by-dog plotline. The book is narrated by an outsider named Ray, who, at the age of 57—“too old for starting over, too young for giving up”—is spurned by his neighbors after his father dies. Ray is something of a curmudgeon, and when he befriends a scruffy one-eyed terrier, he finds unexpected fulfillment in the relationship. But an unfortunate incident forces Ray to pull up roots and drift—canine by his side, of course. The novel chronicles a year in the life of the improbable pair, four seasons spent on the road that are rich with incident and gorgeously depicted through Baume’s precise, lapidary prose.
The 31-year-old author, who lives in Cork with two dogs of her own, displays wisdom beyond her years in this compassionate tale.
IRRESISTABLE IRISH YARNS
A native of County Dublin and a longtime columnist for The Irish Times, Maeve Binchy was the author of more than 20 bestsellers, including the classic novel Circle of Friends (1990). Binchy, who died in 2012, had a heartfelt, unaffected storytelling style that made her a favorite at home and abroad. Her many fans will cheer the appearance of A Few of the Girls, a collection of 36 stories never published before in the United States. Exploring the complex nature of relationships in the melodic prose that became her trademark, Binchy charts the dynamics of romance, the politics of family and the stipulations of friendship. When it comes to capturing the caprices of the human heart, she’s unbeatable. Readers will recognize themselves in her nuanced portrayals of women and men whose goals and regrets, dreams and disappointments never feel less than true-to-life. There’s no better antidote to a raw March evening than a dose of vintage Binchy.