Author of "Galway Bay" at Fairfield University April 19



Image: Mary Pat KellyMary Pat Kelly, author of "Galway Bay" (2009) a historical novel about Ireland, will give a public reading/presentation, followed by a question-and answer session, in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library's Multimedia Room at Fairfield University on Monday, April 19, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Chicago-born author incorporated her family's oral history into her novel, drawing on stories told over the generations about the Great Hunger of 1845-1849 that led to more than a million deaths and massive emigration to the United States, passage in the deadly "coffin ships," and fighting in the American Civil War. She also includes Irish myths and historic events dating back to the 17th century, such as Cromwell's conquest of Ireland and the Protestant plantations in Ulster. As reviewer Tom Deignan wrote in Irish American magazine, "Kelly has ambitiously attempted to capture the 19th-century Irish-American experience, and manages to help us understand how we are still living with this legacy today."

Dr. Kelly has written six other books, including two on Martin Scorsese and "Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason, about a World War II warship manned by an African-American crew that served as a role model for the integration of U.S. Navy ships. The book was accompanied by a documentary broadcast on PBS stations nationwide and was a winner of a CINE Golden Eagle award.

Kelly, who holds a Ph.D. in literature from the City University of New York, will be on the Fairfield campus for two days during which she will visit classes in Irish literature and Irish history and hold a seminar for faculty. Her visit is being sponsored by the

Fairfield University Humanities Institute. Co-sponsors are the Irish Studies Program, the Women's Studies Program, the Center for Faith and Public Life, and the English Department.

For more information, contact Prof. Marion White, Irish Studies Advisory Committee, at mwhite@fairfield.edu, or ext. 3021.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 7, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 262