Older Than Ireland

20151215_101818A unique and priceless book everyone should read, Charlie Byrne's now has copies of Older Than Ireland available in store.Expanding on the award-winning documentary of the same name, Older Than Ireland explores the lives of thirty Irish centenarians including Ireland's oldest citizen on record, Kathleen Snavely (113) and Ireland's oldest ever man, Luke Dolan (108). Each born before the 1916 Rising and the origion of the Irish state.This book reflects on the key events in their lives. The day they got their first pair of shoes, the thrill of their first kiss, the magic of their wedding day and the tragic loss of their loved ones. Having witnessed a century of immense social political and technological change, each centenarian  has a unique perspective on life and its true meaning.They are our living history and these are their extraordinary stories.Older Than Ireland is selling fast at Charlie Byrne's for only €12.95. To reserve a copy, or for more information, simply contact us.

Beyond the Ghibli by Vicki Crowley

20151203_160034Charlie Byrne's has received signed copies of local visual artist Vicki Crowley's unique memoir Beyond the Ghibli. A poignant and candid description of her life's experiences this is a memoir not to be missed. From the first sentence of the introduction, " I never liked my mother's house in Fgura," the reader's attention is held by a direct and down to earth narrative that brings us from Malta to England,  through Africa and back to Europe and finally ending in the West of Ireland.Born in Malta in November 1940 during World War II, the author was called Victoria in the hope of victory. The hospital was bombed shortly after her mother and she was discharged. The book is basically in two parts, the first in which the author recounts her life as Victoria Xuereb, her youth in Malta, her education in England before moving to Africa where her family were reunited. Her life changed dramatically when, emerging from a sand storm and taking shelter she met a young Irish engineer and shortly afterwards became Vicki Crowley.As Don Crowley's work moved all over Africa, Vicki had often to change domicile first with one child, then two children, ending up having to do it with four. On one occasion, for their own safety, they had to leave a country suddenly during a coup d'état. Eventually the family returned to the West of Ireland, where she still lives and has published one volume of  poetry and established herself locally as a well-known artist.Beyond the Ghibli is a celebration of life and more especially the life of a woman, wife and mother despite the continuous movement from country to country with four young children, often under difficult circumstances. Ostensibly written as a tribute to her mother, the narrative bears testament to the courage and resilience of women and mothers world-wide.A refreshing and delightful read which has been receiving much positive attention in the media, signed copies of Beyond the Ghibli are available at Charlie Byrne's for only €20. Not to be missed, to find out more or reserve a copy, simply contact us.

John Behan; The Bull of Sheriff Street by Adrian Frazier

20151105_175533NUIG  Professor Adrian Frazier's  fantastic book on one of Ireland's most famous living sculptors, John Behan, is now available at Charlie Byrne's. Some who know John Behan think of him as without question a Dubliner. For others, after forty years there, he is a fundamental part of Galway. His work, however, belongs to Ireland as a whole and, artistically speaking to the world.Behan's art employs numerous representations: songbirds, crows, fish, boats, Icarus and Dedalus, but the iconic figure for him is the bull.  Bulls of many sizes and breeds, in various castings and styles, are anxious or angry, contented or fighting. Sometimes they belong to the story of King Minos in Crete, sometimes to Maeve and The Táin, to a Spanish bullring or a field in Tipperary. Some are king of the herd, some are led to slaughter. Behan's hundreds of bronze bulls are a poignant and profound exploration of the fate of the male, particularly the Irish male, in our coming times.This generously illustrated tribute to John Behan by his friend, the distinguished writer and academic, Adrian Frazier, is a fitting celebration of one of Ireland's most famous living sculptors.John Behan; The Bull of Sheriff Street is available in store for only €25. For more information or to reserve a copy, simply contact us.

Call of the Lark; A Memoir by Maura Mulligan

20150808_150054Mayo author Maura Mulligan popped into Charlie Byrne's the other day and kindly signed copies of her memoir Call of the Lark.This is the story of a woman who found the courage to change her life several times. As a young girl in Ireland, Maura Mulligan worked as a servant in "a grand house". At seventeen, she sailed to America and became a telephone operator. Answering a higher call, she entered a Franciscan convent and became a nun. Influenced by the changes following Vatican II, she made the decision to return to the world.Call of the Lark offers a vivid portrait of the author's childhood in rural Ireland of the forties and fifties. Behind the convent door, the reader shares her nun's life and stnads with her when she decides to leave it. This is an immigration story that contrasts the old world with the new, a story of sacrifices made and challenges met.Featuring a forward from Macdara Woods this is an intriguing memoir not to be missed. For more information or to reserve a signed copy simply contact us.