Marita with Philip O’Reagan
What a treat to have a very special launch for my new book The Hungry Road in Skibbereen, the place where my new book is set.
I felt a bit overwhelmed and emotional when I arrived at The Uilinn West Cork Arts Centre to find such a massive crowd there to welcome me and join in the celebrations. My mum came from Skibbereen and I still have cousins living there, so it was great to have some family and friends there too. Philip O Reagan from Skibbereen’s Heritage Centre launched the book as he has been so kind and helpful to me as I researched this epic story of The Great Hunger and its terrible effect on the people there.
West Cork people sure love their books and bookshop owner Cathal O’ Donovan was kept busy as I signed so many books! Afterwards we headed for The West Cork Hotel to continue the night. The hotel is literally across the road from The Old Mill where the soup kitchen was held.
Thanks so much to everyone at the West Cork Arts Centre and Fiodhna Ni Ghriofa and Jamie O’ Connell for arranging another great launch for The Hungry Road.
What a great crowd ! Marita and Cathal O’Donovan.
Pat Donlon, Marita and Fiona Murphy of Transworld Ireland
Exciting times with the launch of my new book The Hungry Road at Eason’s book shop in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin on Thursday. It was great to see so many friends and family brave the elements to come along to celebrate with me on this very special night. My agent, Caroline Sheldon came all the way from London to cheer me on.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wonderful publisher Fiona Murphy of Transworld Ireland who encouraged me every step of the way with this epic novel about The Great Hunger. My friend Pat Donlon, former director of The National Library of Ireland kindly agreed to launch ‘The Hungry Road’ for me. I felt it was serendipity as she has played such a big part in my writing career and was the one who launched my first book ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’.
Thank you to Eason’s who looked after the large crowd really well. They have always been so kind and so supportive to me over all my years of writing and publishing.
The launch party continued as the merry crew made our way to Davy Byrne’s to mark the occasion of the publication of The Hungry Road. A heartfelt thanks to everyone for helping to make it such a memorable book launch.
Caroline Sheldon, Pat Donlon, Marita and Fiona Murphy. P.L. Lynch and Marita
It is always a bit nerve wracking when your new book comes out after a year or two or three of writing, to finally get to hold the published book in your hand and to see it go from the printer’s pallets into the wholesalers, then into the book shops all around the city and country.
Is it any wonder that these past few days that I am torn between excitement and relief and a bit of panic that ‘The Hungry Road is finally published?
It’s been a busy few days signing hundreds of books in Argosy and Eason’s bookshops and Dubray and Hodges Figgis, meeting some of my favourite people – booksellers.
It’s always so good to meet and talk to book lovers and journalists and writers and I really enjoyed a big chat about the book with Ryan Tubridy on Radio One. I also got such a kind welcome from Mairead Ronan on Today FM and Alan Hughes and Karen Koster on Ireland Am.
The Hungry Road has at last started its journey
What a great way to start the New Year with the publication of my big new book ‘The Hungry Road.’
Inspired by true Irish heroes the book is set during the Great Irish Famine and took me almost three years to write and research and to put flesh on the bones of such an epic story. It tells of of great courage, the kindness of good people, and the strength of the human spirit. At times I found it heart-breaking to read accounts of the times that I was writing about. But finally my book is done and hopefully ‘The Hungry Road’ will find its way into the hands, hearts and minds of my readers.
There will be a lovely launch in Dublin and also in Skibbereen in West Cork, which I am really looking forward to later on this month.
‘Ireland’s hopes for freedom are dashed with the arrival of a deadly potato blight strikes terror in the heart of Irish people
- Seamstress Mary Sullivan’s dreams of a better future are shattered as she looks out over their ruined crop. Refusing to give in to despair, she must use every ounce of courage and strength to protect her family as they fight to survive
Dr Dan Donovan is medical officer to the Skibbereen Union. The arrival of ‘The Hunger’ soon brings starving men, women and children crowding into the town and the workhouse desperate for assistance.
Parish Priest Rev John Fitzpatrick’s faith is tested by the suffering that surrounds him as the town’s pleas for help to the authorities fall on deaf ears.’
‘The Hungry Road’ by Marita Conlon- McKenna