We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan

Tools
Typography

Viking, New York, NY, 2023 $27

By Sabina Clarke

Irish writer Donal Ryan’s latest novel  The Queen of Dirt Island –his seventh --is an exquisitely wrought piece of fiction tracing the lives of   four generations of women in one family --the wayward women of Nenagh, Tipperary.

Buy Books Here

Ryan captures the soul of the Irish - their prejudices and hypocrisies, their petty jealousies and superstitions and their resilience.  His characters are full of goodness and flawed. Their fears, their longings, their weaknesses and their strengths are laid bare enveloping us in their orbit until empathy for them is inevitable.

This panoramic tale sparkles with insight, poetry, emotional depth, raucous humor and profound truths.

Donal Ryan
Ryan style is lilting and visual and poetic – filled with symbolism and images--- a steady stream of consciousness. .  Metaphors abound  like ‘the cherry blossom blazing pink, the grass warm under her feet” and the   ever present yet comforting  sense of resignation captured in daily chatter “ Haven’t people the same troubles no matter what?”

The central character is Saoirse, the narrator who was born under a cloud to a single mother—one of the greatest scandals in old Ireland. Her earliest memory when she just turned five was of   “ the cherry blossom tree heavily flowered at the edge of the small front garden; it was itself the greater part of the memory.”

Saoirse is introspective, perceptive and a keen observer who watches the interactions between her mother and her grandmother and realizes that “her mother rarely spoke at all” and most of her speech was indirect-- “flung around like fistfuls of confetti.”

The plot with its many twists and turns and surprises is full of drama. The characters are well drawn and even when they are at times unlikeable they are sympathetic and full of humanity. This is a tale that left me wanting even more.

About the author: Donal Ryan is a novelist and short story writer from Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. He has won several national and international awards for his fiction and has twice been nominated for the Booker Prize. His work has been adapted for stage and screen and translated into more than twenty languages. He is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Limerick and lives in Limerick with his wife Anne Marie and their two children. The Queen of Dirt Island is his seventh book and was an instant number one bestseller in Ireland.

MARCH Digital 2023

Large Proclamation Posters

SUBSCRIBE to IAN Today

Choose

February Digital IAN

List your Irish authored Books

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

Advertising Rates 2023-2024

Shop Irish!

APPLESAUCE
Officer Mullen's Applesauce
ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecar 708-361-7845
Amazing Grace Senior Living 773-250-7000
Arboretum Villas 708-554-4140
ATTORNEY
Coogan Gallagher 312-782-7482
Healy Law 312-977-0100
Law Office Tom Lynch 708-598-5999
McEntee Law 773-828-9544
Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
Murphy & Smith Ltd 312-427-3650
Shannon Law Group 312-578-9501
Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC 312-605-8800
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping
630-534-4964
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield
630-666-9867
Marquette National Bank 888-254-9500
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park 708-687-9323
Irish Am Heritage Ctr 773-282-7035
BARBER AND BEAUTY SALON
Hair By O'Hara 708-239-1111
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com 312-498-1337
Dark Queen of Donegal
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing 708-388-2872
CARPENTRY
Cara Construction Fran 847-514-2387
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans 847-636-2529
CATERERS

Unforgettable Edibles 773-774-4001
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
312-738-7560
IrishCommunityServices 773-282-8445
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing 708-388-2871
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing
708-388-2871
CITIZENSHIP - KIDS - SENIORS
Irish Community Services 773-282-8445
COTTAGE RENTAL
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park
708-687-9323
iBAM! 312-498-1337
Ireland Network Chicago (email)
Irish Am Heritage Ctr 773-282-7035
Irish Am Society Co Will 815-791-6424
Irish Am Unity Conference 800-384-3300
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
224-639-8644
Trinity Irish Dance 877-326-2328
ENTERTAINERS
Cahal Dunne 412-780-1905
Chicalba Bagpiping 630-534-4964 - 708-539-8267
Dooley Brothers 773-965-1092 708-837-9806
Gerry Haughey Music 630-364-8613
Gleeson Irish Trio 847-567-7979
Logical Fleadh
Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell 847-721-2299
Joe McShane 847-226-4056
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial 708-482-3800
FLORIST

Garland Flowers 877-244-3181
FUNERAL HOMES

Gibbon's Funeral Homes chgo 773-777-3944
Elmhurst 630-832-0018
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons
708-857-7878
FURNITURE
Darvin Furniture & Mattress 708-460-4100
John Plunkett Interiors 847-906-1000
GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf 708-974-4060
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
Meghan Lee Graphic Design 773-330-3813
GROCERIES/MEAT

Winston's
773-767-4353 chgo
708-633-7500 - Tinley Park
HEARING SPECIALIST
Mel Dermody 312-528-3233
HOME FOR KIDS
Merch Home for Boys & Girls
HOTELS/RESTAURANTS/PUBS

Clarke Hotel & Five Points Pub 262-549-3800
County Clare Inn - Milwaukee 414-272-5273
Ennis Inn & Pub 414-272-5273
Irish Cottage Galena 1 866 CU-IRISH
St. Brendan's Inn
920-884-8484
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts 352-503-7132

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports 773-792-2377
Gaelic Imports 773-792-1905
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee 773-763-2000
Old Orland Insurance 708-349-2000
Riordan Insurance 773-631-3388
INSURANCE APPRAISAL
Oak Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Hinterlands 773-225-7380
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event
630-440-7609
PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPHY - DRONE
SEAN KING 779-875-5019
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex Oak Lawn 708-424-4025
Orland Park 708-478-7229
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son  708-386-2951
PLUMBING
John Cahill Inc 847-864-5225
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Aishling on the Lough - Kenosha WI 262-653-0500
Ashford House 708-633-7600
CELTIC CROSSING 312-479-2392
The Celtic Knot 847-864-1679
Chief O'Neill's 773-583-3066
Clancy's Pizza Pub 708-422-1110
Clarke Hotel - Waukesha WI 262-549-3800
Corcorans 312-440-0885
County Clare Inn - Milwaukee WI 414-272-5273
Emerald Loop 312-263-0200
Ennis Inn & Pub - De Pere WI
414-272-5273
Fifth Province 773-282-7035x10
Fiddler's Hearth 574-232-2853
Galway Arms 773-472-5555
Irish Times Brookfield 708-485-8787
James Joyce Irish Pub 708-795-1100
Johnny's Kitchen & Tap 847-699-9999
Lizzie McNeill's 312-467-1992
Mickey Finn's Brewery 847-362-6688
Newark Nook 773-844-3017
Mystic Rogue Pub/Restaurant 708-831-5142
Peggy Kinnanes 847-877-7733
Red Apple Buffet 773-763-3407
St. Brendan's Inn - Green Bay WI 920-884-8484
Vaughan's Pub 773-281-8188
Wolfhound Bar & Kitchen 773-234-2736
RADIO
Hagerty Irish Show
Hibernian Radio 312-431-8700
Ireland Tonight
O'Connor Irish Radio
Thistle & Shamrock
REALTORS
Berhshire Hathaway Home ServicesJSheehan Group
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
Patrick Carney Dreamtown
RECYCLING
Central Metal Recycling 773-345-8608
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
STAFFING 847-559-8200
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties

THEATRE
Athenaeum Center 312-820-6250
Beverly Arts Center 773-445-3838
Global irish Radio GIR
Late Nite Catechism 773-388-0730
TRAVEL /TOURS

Gadabout Travel 708-974-1300
Jem Tours_Mary Pat Flanagan 312-914-0982
Tourism Ireland
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing 708-388-2871
VACATION RENTALS
Florida Vacation Rentals 708-590-9785
Gurtenard House - Listowel Ire
King's Homestead Northwoods 773-806-9056
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event
630-440-7609
WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park 708-687-9323
Irish Am Heritage Ctr 708-282-7035
Palos Country Club 708-974-4060
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group 847-827-1188
800-827-1126