• Morgan Fagg

Never judge a book by its author

Updated: Dec 20, 2018

You should never judge a book by its author and as I walked the wet streets to an English friend's book launch, I wondered how her book launch would tie into my normally Spanish/Irish themed blog but then as we open up the book, Alice Fitzgerald comes to life.

I have come to associate Alice Fitzgerald with the rain in Spain as it bucketed down during her last poetry Open Mic night too.

I say Alice Fitzgerald comes to life as this is my friend's pseudonym and as I arrived late in the rain at the intimate Desperate Literature bookshop, all the sitting room was gone in the rare book shop and the crowd was anxiously waiting for the author to read. Surprisingly her book took me home to Ireland as she read passages taken from holidays spent in rural Ireland.

Tractors and fields full of hay were mentioned which transported me back to the 80s when I was a child spending time on my grandparents farm which by the late 1980's was just a field.

Alice Fitzgerald didn't take a John B Keane route with this book but did bring me back in time to fond memories on a farm. My aunts and uncles all helping out. My older cousins all moving hay and my uncle, the local huntmaster taking a bale of hay in each hand. The only off roader was our old silver Ferguson 20 but everyone's car had a hitch and each hitch had a trailer full of hay attached. Two of the trailers my father had made himself.

John B Keane gave us the Bull McCabe but being Ireland, I was told about the real Bull McCabe and how I was related to him. Through marriage, not an actual relative.

Stories of Ireland continued with the next passage and a discussion followed within the group talking about the Irish in England.

Miriam or Alice as is her alias as an author, is of Irish decent and is considered Irish in England but is the English cousin when in Ireland and I wonder what her book will reveal about the Irish diaspora as I read deeper into my own life outside of Ireland.

My English friend with the beautiful poetry and fine speaking voice had become by the end of the evening, as I stepped out in the rain without an umbrella, a close cousin.

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