The Brendan Voyage (1978)
Could an Irish monk in the sixth century really have sailed all
the way across the Atlantic in a small open boat, thus beating Columbus to
the New World by almost a thousand years? Relying on the medieval text of
St. Brendan, award-winning adventure writer Tim Severin painstakingly
researched and built a boat identical to the leather curragh that carried
Brendan on his epic voyage. He found a centuries-old, family-run tannery
to prepare the ox hides in the medieval way; he undertook an exhaustive
search for skilled harness makers (the only people who would know how to
stitch the three-quarter-inch-thick hides together); he located one of the
last pieces of Irish-grown timber tall enough to make the mainmast. But
his courage and resourcefulness were truly tested on the open seas,
including one heart-pounding episode when he and his crew repaired a
dangerous tear in the leather hull by hanging over the side--their heads
sometimes submerged under the freezing waves--to restitch the leather. A
modern classic in the tradition of Kon-Tiki, The Brendan Voyage
seamlessly blends high adventure and historical relevance. It has been
translated into twenty-seven languages since its original publication in
- In 1952, traveling steerage, Malachy McCourt left a
childhood of poverty in Limerick, Ireland, heading for the promise of
America. This is the story of what he brought with him, and what he thought
he left behind.
A Monk Swimming (1998)
Armed with savage humor and a gift for story-telling, fueled
by rage and the desire never to go hungry again, he ran from memories of a
drunken, vanished father and the humiliations of Angela, his mother.
He arrived in New York, reminiscent of a Damon Runyon saga -
a dark, glittering place, with saloons on every corner, and a new story
waiting every night. Larger than life, a world-class drinker, McCourt carved
out a place for himself: in the saloons, as the first celebrity bartender,
mixing with socialites, writers and movie stars; on stage, performing the
works of James Joyce and Brendan Behan; and on television, where the tales
he spun made him a Tonight Show regular.
He had money and women and, eventually, children of his own;
and that’s when he found he had not left his memories as far behind as he
had thought. From the notorious Tombs prison of New York City, to poolside
arrests in Beverly Hills; in the company of gold-smuggling in Zurich and
whores in Calcutta; from Paris, to Rome, and to Limerick once more, McCourt
fled again, until he had no choice but to stop and turn and face his past.
Through Irish Eyes: A Visual Companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland
In Singing My Him Song, McCourt tells us how he went from
living the headlong and heedless life of a world-class drunk to becoming a
sober, loving father and grandfather, still happily married after
thirty-five years. We meet the woman who stood by his side all those years,
watch as they build a family together, and listen as McCourt pursues a
career of surprising successes and comic missteps.
Singing My Him Song (2000)
But while becoming the host of television and radio talk
shows, appearing in dozens of movies and plays, and establishing himself as
a well-loved regular on Ryan's Hope and One Life to Live,
McCourt must also face the wreckage of his past. McCourt fights for the
rights of his handicapped stepdaughter, exposing a scandal that still
reverberates; helps steer his children away from the path he took; and
finally comes to terms with the people and places that sent him careering
along his misguided course. Then, just when it's time for the happy ending,
he must gather all that he's learned, and the support of everyone he loves,
to face and overcome the threat of cancer.
Bawdy and funny, naked and moving, told in the same
inimitable voice that left readers all over the world wondering what
happened next, Malachy McCourt's Singing My Him Song tells as honest
and entertaining a story as anyone could hope for.
Danny Boy: The Beloved Irish Ballad (2001)
Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes, are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
''Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
"Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
hum this haunting Irish ballad that inevitably brings a tear to the eye.
For all its popularity, the most requested "Irish" song and its origins
still remain an enigma. Is it even Irish? Did the song initially grace the
Irish countryside as the winsome ballad of an itinerant piper, or did it
first take form as a blind musician's bow danced across the strings of a
fiddle? Travel with Malachy on his journey for the truth as he interviews
musicologists, historians, academics, celebrities, and Irish icons. Join
the expedition and trace the complex evolution and enduring mystique of
"Danny Boy" in an unforgettable tribute that brilliantly weaves history
The serene landscapes and the turbulent history of
Ireland have inspired the greatest writers in the modern literary canon.
Recorded in the brilliant journalism of James Stephens and others, Ireland's
struggle to go from a province to a full-fledged nation also echoes in the
work of poets and playwrights such as J.M. Synge,
and William Butler Yeats. The literature conveys the beauty of the
green-reached hills, the "brown imperturbable faces" of the houses in
Joyce's Dublin, the barren thorns of a winter's night.
Voices of Ireland: Classic Writings of a Rich and Rare Land (2002)
Thanks to the genius of
Wilde, Lady Gregory, and other visionaries, millions of readers can
enter a world where the mythical struggles of saints, leprechauns and Cu
Chulainn find echoes in the modern strife of revolution and the war for
independence. From the Rebellion of 1798 to the potato famine, from the
exodus of many families out of Ireland to the Easter Rebellion and the war
for independence, the greatness of Ireland filters through the prism of
literary genius. Inspired by the love of their land, these writers rebelled
against the icons of social, political and cultural conformity. Equally in
love with the landscapes and the spirited people, they wrote literature that
resounds throughout Ireland and the world.
Here for the first time, these 12 works of fiction, poetry
and non-fiction are collected in a single volume that recognizes their
enormous literary contribution. Award-winning and New York Times
best-selling author Malachy McCourt provides an incisive
introduction, drawing on his vast knowledge of and love for the literature
The Claddagh Ring: Ireland's Cherished Symbol Of Friendship, Loyalty And Love
Friendship. Loyalty. Love. The Claddagh Ring is an
eternal symbol of all three. Though the recognizable Irish emblem of two
hands reaching for each other around a heart and topped with a crown is
ubiquitous among many cultures, there has never been a comprehensive account
of the origins, history, and meaning of the Claddagh Ring until now.
Following the success of his recent Running Press titles Danny Boy
and Voices of Ireland, McCourt tells the story of this beloved Irish
symbol through vivid anecdotes, charming folk tales, and recent
incidents. The Claddagh Ring is said to have been conceived by Irish native
Richard Joyce after being captured by Algerian pirates and the need for
faith and endurance was foremost in his mind. This is much more to the
ring's tale than simple popular history, and McCourt, with his vast
knowledge of Ireland, is just the person to track it down and recount it
with his stellar storytelling finesse.
Up Your Sobriety (2003)There is hardly ever a smile when the word
sobriety is mentioned in polite society--even less so in impolite society.
But mention tipsy, merry, snookered or any of the hundred or more synonyms
for drunk, and eyes light up and those with teeth flash them in wide grins.
This is due to the fact that sobriety is often confused with the solemn and
sacred and sacerdotal, even with sadness--and consequently the exhilarating,
joyous uplift of the non-drunken state is lost. Nearly 14 million Americans
abuse alcohol or are alcoholic, and several million more engage in binge or
heavy drinking on a regular basis. The consequences of alcohol misuse are
devastating: in purely economic terms, alcohol-related problems cost society
approximately $185 billion per year; in human terms, the costs cannot be
calculated. Malachy McCourt, bard extraordinaire and bestselling author of A
Monk Swimming, Singing My Him Song and Danny Boy, is a recovering alcoholic.
In Up Your Sobriety!, Malachy will take you on a journey with unforgettable
sights and emotions, where the spiritual updrafts cannot be resisted. All
aboard for a high-flying ride spirited with color and comedy, where no
blackouts occur and the word "sobriety" is given proper due in a joyous
Bush Lies In State (2004)Being the decent man he is, Malachy McCourt has written a compassionate (but
devilishly funny) book about George "Wanker" Bush and his practically
unnoticed (but major failing) as president — Bush is an alcoholic. Bush Lies
in State is a collection of 24 essays and performance pieces finely tooled
to cleanse and disinfect the government by exposing the lies, violence, and
hypocrisy of our current, soon-to-be-ex-President, "Blinky bin Bush" and his
"Texiban." Malachy McCourt’s distinctive voice rings throughout. As an
often-published expert on the subjects of alcoholism and recovery (as well
as politics), Malachy has no trouble identifying George W. Bush as a "dry
drunk," someone who no longer takes alcohol, but retains all the worst
behaviors of the full-blown alky. Worse yet, the disease seems to be
contagious, with our whole country now behaving like a dry drunk! The only
cure is regime change in 2004.
Harold Be Thy Name: Lighthearted Daily Reflections for People in Recovery
(2004)JUST SUPPOSE that you found out that this day
would be your last day alive on this earth, that you would die before
midnight. Some of us would panic, screaming “NO! NO! NO!” Others would
complain, “Why me?” Still others would travel as far away as possible,
hoping that geographical distance would alter Death’s mind, and another
group might say, “Let me get ready, then, as there are some items I must
take care of, and some arrangements to be made.” One nice thing about dying
nowadays is you don’t have to pack material supplies, like deodorants,
toothpaste, aspirin, bathing suit, hairbrush, underwear, or outerwear—not a
bloody thing. All you have to do is sit, and perhaps gather the family and
friends for a farewell chat. Of course, before we do that, we ought to ring
up or otherwise contact the various people we have slighted or injured in
our lives and see if we can’t make amends. Cleaning things up in this way
does not mean seeking or expecting forgiveness, for sometimes injured
parties will find that impossible to grant. But if you tell them you are
about to die, you might elicit a “Bon voyage” at least. Your last day ought
to be one of story, song, reminiscences, and loving embraces all round.
Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland (2004)In this lively,
engaging chronicle, best-selling author and storyteller Malachy McCourt
delivers his own unique perspective on Irish history. As entertaining as he
is informative, McCourt presents the sinners and saints of his homeland in
an effort to understand Ireland through centuries of invasion, oppression
Here is a sweeping account of the Irish, from the age of the Tuatha de
Danann to the Viking Invasion, through An Gorta Mór (the Great Famine) to
the British Occupation, to the modern strife and struggle for independence -
with startling insights into how the Irish national character took shape.
McCourt shows how scandals undermine the efforts of honest leaders on all
sides, and how resentment grew so deeply entrenched. He explores the
controversial relationship between Charles Parnell and Kitty O'Shea, and its
actual role in the nationalist hero's downfall. He takes you into the
private lives of Daniel O'Connell, Bobby Sands, Gerry Adams, and other
players in the drama and tragedy - and he makes you understand the milieu
that produced them.
Ireland has made a contribution to literature, diplomacy, and popular music
not remotely matched by countries many times Ireland's size. In this volume,
McCourt unveils a new take on the fiction, poetry, drama and music that are
Ireland's best-known export. Here are James Joyce, William Butler Yeats,
Samuel Beckett, and Bono as you have never seen or understood them before.
Readers of this unparalleled history of the Emerald Isle will come back to
where they are and get to know the place for the first time.
The Irish In America: A History (1997)
An audio history with
commentary by Colm Meaney (Narrator), Dennis Duggan, Malachy McCourt,
Michael Coffey (Narrator), Patty Disney, Peggy Noonan, Pete Hamill, Roy
Disney, and Terry Golway (Narrator).
The Irish in America (1997) by Michael Coffey (Companion to the audio)
On the 150th anniversary of the Irish famine which sparked the
wave of emigration that forever shaped the course of the American nation,
The Irish In America celebrates the comprehensive and vibrant
history. Through illuminating essays and contributions from noted Irish
American personalities, the audio book paints a vivid picture of the Irish
experience in the United States.
This history is told through selections whose themes are
taken from the most important institutions of Irish life: the Parish, the
Precinct, the Work, the Players and the Family. The Irish identity in
America is captured through the personal stories of families workers local
churches. entertainers, and many others, culminating in an unusually
moving and modulated social, cultural, and political history of Irish
Joyce's classic has been recorded before, of
course, but in this new version, each of the 15 stories will be read by a
different person, including writers
Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt, and
Patrick McCabe, and actors Ciaran Hinds and Colm Meaney.
Dubliners (2000) by James Joyce
In describing his beloved land, the late Irish short story writer Sean
O'Faolain wrote: "There is some alchemy of climate in Ireland that bedews
the countryside with an unmistakable personality: it is in the softness of
color, the mobility of the light, the gentleness with which sound caresses
the ear." In this heartwarming photographic portrait, award-winning
photographer Jill Freedman captures that softness, mobility, and
gentleness in the Irish landscape and in the character of its people.
Ireland Ever: The Photographs of Jill Freedman (2004) by Jill
With texts by best-selling Irish American authors
Frank McCourt (Angela's
Ashes) and Malachy McCourt, Ireland Ever commemorates the
traditional life of Ireland in bygone days, just as the modern world began
to creep up on it. Freedman celebrates the beauty of the land, the warmth
of her people, the simplicity of the old ways, the humor and conviviality,
the sharp wit and black moods, and the kindness of the "old country."
Beautifully designed and produced, this elegant gift book is a love poem
to that wild and passionate beauty that is Ireland ever. AUTHOR BIO: Jill
Freedman is a highly respected documentary photographer whose
award-winning work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum
of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the Smithsonian
Institution, and the Bibliothèque Nationale.