|What does it mean to be gay and Gaelic in todays world?
Twelve writers from both sides of the Big Pondboth Irish and of Irish descentaim to find out through a mix of fiction, poetry, play excerpts, and memoir. Love, politics, family, and Catholicism are the powerful forces at play here, all tendered with the unmistakable and complex feelings one associates with their home country. Their words sing of pain and pride, and always with an ear for storytelling. You will not forget their voices long after the neighborhood pub has closed.
A bold and ambitious collection fo Irish and Irish-American storeis that leave no stone unturnedhere is colonialism and the near-loss of the Irish tongue, the wit, the poetry, the legends, the grief and family squabblesand above all, the queerness." Trebor Healey, author of A Horse Named Sorrow
"The pages of this book are filled with green hills and hungry voices. They bring me back to my own time in Ireland, and I found myself needing to stop every now and then, my mind hovering between memory and these heartfelt confessions." Kristen Ringman, author of Makara
"Theres much to learn for everyone in this slim volume ... which taps a culture as rich and earthy as the smell from its turf fires. Wesley Koster has collected a diverse smorgasbord (yes, I know thats Scandinavian, but I dont know the Irish equivalent) of poetry, drama, memoir, and fiction that entertains as it educates. No mean feat, that. ... Trisha Collopys '21 Meditations on the Catholic Body' illustrates some disparities between the theory and practice of Catholicism, Robin NiChathain contrasts what does and doesnt translate in 'Debt of Light,' and Michael OConghaile shows us brilliantly what can and cannot be forgiven in his touching essay, 'Father.' ... Indeed, family is as important as anything in the Irish culture, and this is well represented [here]. For me, however, the very heart of this book lies in the final entry, Brian Merrimans 'The Gentleman Caller,' which sees a modern gay man reflecting on the death of a village octagenarian. Perhaps the last of a dying generation, this gossipy old man is a 'confirmed bachelor' and tireless worker for the Church. Merriman leaves open-ended the question of whether or not Martin, the old man, was in fact gay. But Merriman uses the possibility as a springboard for rumination about his own life, his gayness, and his place in society. Mesmerizing and emotionally powerful, this piece is one I turned over in my mind long after I finished the book. And those are just a few reasons why this important volume should not be overlooked by any ethnic group. Its lessons are timeless, universal, and beautifully written." Jerry L. Wheeler, for Out in Print
About the Editor: Wesley J. Koster teaches Irish Gaelic for Gaeltacht Minnesota, a community organization for the study of Irish culture and language in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
120 pages. 6" x 9"