In 1992, I visited Ireland for the first time. I was nineteen and traveled to find a good beer. Actually, I fell in love with the wetness of the country, but also the beauty of its traditions.
Nine years later I would return to Ireland as part of my English Speaking Union scholarship to study at Cambridge. Amy, my travel partner, and I found a new Ireland. It was prospering in IBMs investment into making it a technological hub. The poverty and struggle witnessed as a nineteen year old changed to one of excess as a 28 year old.
Then I wandered into a dollar store in Cicero, New York, and found a book by the Irish writer, Roddy Doyle. At the University of Louisville, I was told I wrote like the bloke and so I picked up Patty Clark Ha-Ha-Ha and questioned the comparison. My $1 find, The Deportees and Other Stories, written by Doyle has me reveling in my cheap find. It is wonderfully written and I love how it takes on the growing diversity of a Dublin crowd. Like most of the English speaking world that maintained its colonial, imperialist ties with Great Britain, Ireland has found itself as a multicultural nation and Doyle explores what this means to a country with immense pride for its being Irish.
It is beautifully written and I recommend it all I know.