Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish Americaby Joseph O'Connor
Award-winning novelist Joseph O'Connor's love affair with America began during his childhood holidays in the beautiful western Ireland wilderness of Connemara, which always seemed to be populated by American tourists. In Sweet Liberty, he takes readers on an idiosyncratic tour of the U.S. and offers a poignant, hialrious, and insightful travelogue.
More often than not, O'Connor (whose 1992 novel Cowboys and Indians was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) found few traces of Irish origins in the American Dublins; one was named after two colonial inns that were joined together and named "Double-inns." He did discover an Irish-American population consumed with sentiment for the imagined old country, a vision at odds in many ways with current realities in the Irish republic. His obvious narrative skills are somewhat dissipated by the inclusion of brief, rather formulaic descriptions of some of the sites he visited. The writing is further marred by some severely strained metaphorsperhaps the result of attempts to satisfy a reader's expectation of proverbial Irish wit. O'Connor lampoons some of the dark elements of American culture, ranging from the antebellum South to rip-off cabbies, from Boston slums, porn shops, and movies to social corrosion and the butchery of the English language, from school security guards with metal detectors to greasy fast-food joints. He admires our freedom of religion in contrast to Ireland's religious/political warfare, and comments persuasively on the influence of Irish music on American country ballads. O'Connor seems never far from a pub in his boozy travels, and these visits are invariably followed by fierce morning hangovers. He gives the impression of searching too desperately for the fresh, the odd, and the hilarious.
Little that is startling or new.
– Irish Times
- Rinehart, Roberts Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.88(w) x 8.89(h) x 0.96(d)
Meet the Author
Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He has written ten widely acclaimed and bestselling books including the novels Cowboys and Indians; Desperadoes; The Salesman; Inishowen; Star of the Sea; and Redemption Falls.
- Dublin, Ireland
- Date of Birth:
- September 20, 1963
- Place of Birth:
- Dublin, Ireland
- B.A., University College, Dublin, 1984; M.A., 1986; University College, Oxford, 1987; M.A., University of Leeds, 1991
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