Brooklyn, 2017

Like most people, I was ready for 2016 to end. Unfortunately, I don’t see things getting all that better for the evolution of humankind. We’re going to take a step backward in time from some of the progress we’ve made. But as some have pointed out, it’ll probably be good for punk rock, at least. Let’s hope it’ll be good for books about Brooklyn! Particularly those connected to the Auld Irishtown trilogy.

I’m very lucky to live in the same place I write about. Although I’m working on a different book between Exile on Bridge Street (2016) and Divide the Dawn, which we are expecting to release in Fall 2018.

Every day I am amazed to be living close to Green-Wood Cemetery, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway andOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the Gowanus Canal (haha) and only a few blocks away from where one of my characters (three characters actually) was murdered in 1925. It’s true, Richie “Pegleg” Lonergan was murdered by Al Capone and other Italians on the corner of 4th Avenue and 20th Street, a five minute walk.

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Adonis Social Club circa 1925 at 4th Ave & 20th St

The Adonis Social Club was a rundown brothel owned by the Stabile family, who were associates of Capone and the Prince o’ Pals, Frankie Yale.

The building, shown in the photo, was made of wood and is gone now, obviously, but the old neighborhood is still quite working class. Yes there are lots of hipsters, but also a very large Puerto Rican, Mexican, Arabic and Asian population as well.

Immigrants. What all Americans were at some point or other. I happen to appreciate them more than your average New Yorker. Luckily I speak Spanish too, so I can talk to them if I like. Most of the time I’m too shy though, so I just listen to their conversations at the grocery store and on the R, W, N and D trains.

I don’t pray to any Gods, but I do hope for their safety in the coming year. I understand that they have limited opportunities. That they often come from violent

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al-Noor is dedicated to teaching Islamic culture and religion on 4th Avenue

countries and that those circumstances are not their fault. I also understand that they are conflicted here. Even in New York there are a lot of people who don’t care that immigrants have their own culture and struggle to learn ours.

On my street, we have an Islamic school and Mosque, a Spanish church and funeral home, a Turkish restaurant next to a Peruvian restaurant, a Jewish bakery and a busy bodyshop owned by a Polish family. I feel honored to be around them. I appreciate them and I know they are good, solid Americans.

This year I’d like to ask you something. Talk to a person of a different culture. Find out what is important to them and compare those concerns with your own. And most of all, welcome them. Tell them about your immigrant story and where your family originally came from and the trouble that caused them to come to America.

Go on then 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blurbs

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EXILE ON BRIDGE STREET: A book with heart

Exile book coverSince the beginning, the historical Exile on Bridge Street was dependent on readers to spread the word. Without much of an advertising or marketing budget, like most successful books that are pushed in front of eyeballs online, we have relied solely on merit and word-of-mouth.

Thanks to so many people in the US, Ireland and UK that have felt strongly about this book, we have been able to inspire reviewers to take a look at it. But we need more help. If you know someone who may enjoy a book about a teenage Irishman who is sent to work in Brooklyn one hundred years ago, get it for her/him. Tell your friends, post it on social media, order it online or at your local bookstore. Booklist logo.jpg

Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, recently included it
in its widely distributed newsletter. This is a huge win for Exile on Bridge Street. The thousands of libraries and bookstores in the US now know about it and can consider purchasing.

Here’s what Booklist said: “Loingsigh brings the time and place to life with rough action and dialogue in Irish brogue, but he doesn’t just glorify the violence of the gang rivalries. Instead, he portrays the families that struggle with the cold realities of a city more interested in money than the value of human lives.”

wirbAlso, Washington Independent Review of Books, a highly respected national reviewer ran a wonderful piece here.

“An intimate look at criminals whose lives have been hardened by oppression and weathered by storms, while inside their rough shells they hide soft hearts.”

There have been many other reviews as well. On top of the excellent reviews, there have been readings to packed houses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Below are some photo highlights.

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Cranford, NJ library Nov. 14, 2016. Sold every copy we brought!

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Cambridge, MA, Nov. 4

Exile on Bridge Street continues to sell extraordinarily well in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. You can find copies at http://amazon.co.uk and search for the book title.

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At the Artists Without Walls Showcase, The Cell Theatre Nov. 22. Sold out! photo by Mitch Traphagen

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Mysterious Bookshop, Warren Street in Manhattan, Nov. 1.

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Famous non-fiction writer TJ English introducing Eamon Loingsigh at Mysterious Bookshop.

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Early Praise for EXILE

Available now for pre-order Exile on Bridge Street, due for release in the middle of this month, is already being talked about all over the place.

Irish Central, the hugely popular New York City based Irish-American magazine said,

“On the surface, Loingsigh’s book mines Brooklyn’s gory and glorious Irish past.
But it is also the quintessential read for 21st century Brooklyn.”

bk-rail-logoBrooklyn Rail, a very popular culture magazine in New York City, raved about Exile on Bridge Street saying;

“Loingsigh has an urgent story to tell. And he tells it well. This is a street-level history of how the other half has always lived, the kind of story rarely worried over in classrooms or political campaigns. Loingsigh’s great strength is his unsentimental take on the immigrant experience.”

goodreadsGoodreads, a website dedicated to books and moderated by librarians and top reviewers, Exile on Bridge Street is very popular with over 600 people scheduled to read the book when it is released.

There are many reviews there already, however, due to some librarians and top reviewers having access to advance reader and digital copies. Here’s what they are saying;

Exile book cover“From the very first pages I was taken back to this time, fully immersed in this time period. . . extremely well written. . . so authentically portrayed and covered a period I hadn’t read before, and I quite liked Liam.”
~Diane S

“At once poetic and gritty, the docks and streets in Irishtown are depicted. . . It’s a
coming of age story as well as a wonderful piece of historical fiction, written beautifully.”

~Angela M.

“This is an astonishing story of the Irish Immigrant families arriving trying to bring their families over and living in New York City. A well-researched, thought out book – with a heart wrenching sad accounting of life in the early 1900’s.” 
~Lynn Demsky

 

publicity-roundup

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Book Release: Exile on Bridge Street

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Who was Vercingetorix?


It is nearly always invisible dangers
that are most terrifying. 

With these words by Julius Caesar do we get to know Vercingetorix, a Celtic tribal leader that led a revolt in Gaul against Rome in 52BC.

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Vercingetorix as portrayed by Giovanni Calcagno in the HBO series Rome.

After defeat at Avaricum, Vercingetorix and the thousands of Celtic troops that pledged to him retreated with heavy hearts and deep concern to Gergovia, his tribe’s biggest fortified town for a last stand.

On the precipice of extinction, the Gallic tribes trembled. Many knew that if they lost, their ancient culture would capitulate forever. Others though, saw opportunity in begging Caesar’s mercy and assimilating within the conquerer’s culture.

At Gergovia Vercingetorix won triumphantly. The Celts must have been elated. Winter had come, and everyone thought Caesar would head south, back to Italy.

Although Caesar claimed that he hadn’t lost (his account is all we have of the Gallic Wars) it was apparent he’d been routed. Eventually though, in open battle, Vercingetorix was overcome by treachery within his own leadership, lack of resources and outdated war strategies. Among the most important things against the Celts in Europe, however, was time and change.

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Marlon Brando in JULIUS CAESAR (1953) wearing the classic ‘Scarlet Cloak’ that he used to intimidate his enemies

Julius Caesar’s siege tactics, superior battle techniques, along with the full might of Rome behind him proved too much, and Gaul fell under the mighty weight in the siege of Alesia.

In the Auld Irishtown trilogy, there are parodies to the rise of Rome and the fall of the Celtic world.

In a place called Irishtown in Brooklyn, in the very same neighborhood where their ancestors landed after the Great Hunger seventy years earlier, a gang keeps the Anglo-American law and culture outside its neighborhood borders.

(Listen to The Story of Irishtown)

In 1900 Christie Maroney, the newest gang leader plans to change Irishtown and allow outsider to run prostitution, gambling, labor tribute in the old neighborhood until Dinny Meehan murders him in 1912.

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Statue of Vercingetorix in France

Meehan pulls every gang under his umbrella, and calls it The White Hand, in anticipation of an Italian invasion (just like Caesar) from the south. But it is not only Italians like Frankie Yale that want to take Dinny Meehan down and banish their culture, just as it wasn’t only Julius Caesar that took down  Vercingetorix.

 

Exile book cover

Due out Oct, 2016, Exile on Bridge Street is the second book in the Auld Irishtown trilogy

Call The White Hand a gang if you like, but they can also be seen as soldiers. Soldiers of the Dawn, who show up early in the morning to load and unload all of the ships that come into the busiest port in the world so that they can feed their people. And stick to their ancient ways, instead of the culture of the Anglo-ascendency in New York.

Dinny Meehan warns his followers in Irishtown not to fear the invisible dangers of their enemy, but to take a last stand, too.

(Pre-order Exile on Bridge Street here)

Video Trailer for: Exile on Bridge Street:

 

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Video Trailer: Exile on Bridge Street

 

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