Posts tagged “Spring 2013

Author Spotlight: Dave Dyer

Book: Steel’s: A Forgotten Stock Market Scandal from the 1920s

Dave DyerDave Dyer is an independent investor and freelance writer.  He is also the author of Steel’s, “a fascinating and thoroughly engaging story of Buffalo-based Steel’s department store told by a master storyteller” as described by Field HorneDyer’s Spring 2013 title was published by the Syracuse University Press in March.

Could you provide the audience with a brief description of Steel’s?

“My grandmother’s brother, Clayton Pickard, vanished in 1923 and I set out to find what happened to him. Through a long string of lucky breaks and coincidences, I learned about him even though he had changed his name. I also learned that he worked for the L. R. Steel Company, and I was again lucky enough to acquire about 20 lbs. of original documents from that company. The box contained newsletters from the early 1920s with thousands of photographs and other documents. It was like finding an unopened time capsule.

The documents gave an inside view of a chain store business run by a very creative and visionary entrepreneur named Leonard Rambler Steel.  The business consisted of 75 retail stores, but the real money maker was his scheme to sell stock in the business. He promoted stock sales by making a silent film about his business…probably one of the first infomercials. The film helped him sell stock to 60,000 people, and they all lost their money when the company went bankrupt in 1923.  Steel had other big ideas, like developing Niagara Falls into a permanent World’s Fair that would be dedicated to the glory of electricity and international commerce, but he never got around to implementing that one.

There were fraud indictments for some of the executives in 1923, but Leonard Rambler Steel died suddenly, at only 44, while he was on a train to seek a loan from Henry Ford to resurrect his company.  Clayton Pickard was not charged, but I expect his disappearance was related to the scandal.  Eventually, all the indictments were dropped and the story was no longer as newsworthy since the charismatic founder was dead.  There is no other account of this story in print and it might have been lost forever if I had not been lucky enough to find that box of documents.”

What went through your mind when you began to discover the stock market scandal?

“I started reading the documents to find out about my grandmother’s brother, but I soon found Leonard Rambler Steel to be more interesting.  At first, I assumed that there must be a book or some historical article on this amazing story, but I could find none. I visited Buffalo a couple of times and found newspaper articles from the 1920s, but nothing recent.

The documents revealed an unusual company; women in management and some employees in their eighties. When I started reading about the movie, I was hooked.  The movie was released in 1922 and it was 3 hours long. It was shown for free all over North America to generate leads for his stock selling scheme. He made 50 copies of the 10-reel film, and each one had a different ending; each ended with views of his store in the locality where it was shown. He anticipated the value of localization in advertising and this amazing insight was what convinced me that the story needed to be researched and documented.”

When did you decide to research your great uncle, Clayton Pickard?

“My grandmother had always wondered about her vanished brother and I thought it would be easy to resolve the mystery since so many old records are now digitized and searchable. I did not anticipate that he would change his name!

Also, my grandmother always told me that I was a lot like Clayton. When you grow up hearing something like that, you remember it.  Finally, when I was digitizing some old family photos, my wife commented that I really do look a bit like him.”

steelsAre there any unresolved questions you have regarding your findings?

“Yes, I would love to know what happened to all 50 copies of the film.  When the company went bankrupt, they were scattered all over the country in small town movie houses. Some were probably not returned because there was no company to return them to.  Is there a much deteriorated copy still in some attic?

The last showing was in the Erie County prosecutor’s office looking for evidence of fraud, but they have not been able to locate it now.  I offered to spend a couple of days just opening boxes in their long-term storage area, but they were prudent enough not to take me up on that.”

As an independent investor, how did writing Steel’s influence you in relation to your work?

“I have been fascinated with the stock market for over 30 years and I specialize in analyzing small growth companies with unique technology for some niche market.  I love to find a creative company with an idea that actually works. I was the ideal person to appreciate the documents that I found.”

What do you hope the audience takes from your story?

“Sometimes failure is more interesting than success, especially when the person who failed had the talent needed to succeed.  And, to quote Leonard Rambler Steel,

“The line between success and failure is so finely drawn that often all that is required is one step forward to land on the winning side.”  L. R. Steel, December 24, 1920′”

What can we expect next from you?

“First, I would love to see Steel’s made into a movie or TV show. The characters are so vivid and a film based in Buffalo when it was a boom town in the 1920s just might work. If anyone knows an agent who could make this happen, I’m available. Also, if the publication of the book happens to turn up a copy of the lost silent film (hey, I’ve been lucky on everything else) that would be a nice ending.

Although Steel’s is my first book, I have several hundred other shorter publications, mostly magazine articles, newspaper editorials, and lots of stock market newsletters and commentary. I am about half way through a second book called, I Knew a Guy Who Worked Once.  It is a guide for people who want to reach escape velocity from corporate life by using aggressive investing techniques.  It is based on some investment courses that I taught and I hope it will be one of the few humorous investment books.

I have two other projects in the planning stage. One is a history book about the influence of weather on history.  There has been lots of recent discussion about mankind’s potential effect on the weather, but less about the effect of weather on human events.  I am interested in things like the sudden hurricane that saved Washington, DC, from being burned by the British in August, 1814 or the tornado that helped General “Mad” Anthony Wayne win the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.  Also, my wife and I are planning a book about how to turn underutilized urban land into public parks. We have done this once and created a 22-acre urban nature preserve.  We are now in the process of repeating this with a smaller parcel that will be used as a dog park. We hope to document the lessons we have learned.”

For more information on Dave Dyer’s Steel’s, visit the Syracuse University Press website.  It is available for sale now!


New Book In!

Sheva’s Promise: Chronicle of Escape from a Nazi Ghetto
By Sylvia Lederman

In this gripping memoir, Lederman tells her story of survival during one of the most horrific episodes in history. Beginning with Lederman as a young girl in Poland in 1941, Sheva’s Promise traces her experience in a Nazi ghetto with her mother and sister. Resolved that she must avoid the detention camp to help her family, Lederman obtains a false birth certificate and escapes the ghetto. Through the courage and humanity of a few individuals, she finds work in a hospital in Germany under an assumed identity. With fierce determination and resourcefulness, Lederman manages to elude Nazi capture and eventually immigrates to the United States with her husband.

Sheva’s Promise is not only an invaluable piece of historical record but also the work of a gifted writer whose keen eye for detail and skillful attention to language gives readers an unforgettable story.

“The author has strikingly portrayed the relationship between a hidden Jewish young woman and her rescuers. Her theological and psychological ruminations are heartbreaking and simultaneously portray her own coping skills and resilience. Time is running out and the story must be told before it is too late.”
—Alan L. Berger, Florida Atlantic University


Author Spotlight: Peter Makuck

Book: Allegiance and Betrayal: Stories

CapturePeter Makuck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University.  He is the author of Long Lens: New and Selected Poems and two collections of short stories, Breaking and Entering and Costly Habits.  His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in the Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, the Nation, and Gettysburg Review.

Tell us about Allegiance and Betrayal.

“Like writing itself, putting together a collection of stories is yet another process of discovery.  You become aware of unifying themes in your work, as well as certain obsessions.  I discovered that fiction not included in my two previous collections, plus more recent stories, have in common family matters and friendships, as well as themes of allegiance and betrayal.  Some of these stories also have coastal settings in common.”

What made you choose to write your book in a post-World War II setting?  Has this time period always interested you?

“I came of age in post-World War II America.  I was about five when the war ended. I can remember my grandfather spreading the news, yelling, neighbors cheering, singing, drinking, and dancing in the street in front of our house when victory was declared.”

Do you think your theme of family is strengthened by the World War II setting?

“Well, it’s almost a cliché but nonetheless true that post-war America in the 1950s is a setting dominated by two-parent families, stay-at-home mothers, and safe neighborhoods where kids played ball in the streets, rode bikes, and climbed trees together.  For me, it was also a time of parochial education reinforced by the family’s traditional Roman Catholicism.”

Do you have a personal connection to any of the stories in Allegiance and Betrayal?

“Most my stories are triggered by what I’ve experienced, witnessed, or know.  Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish film director, says that everything not autobiography is plagiarism.  But I doubt he means literal autobiography.  An incident in your life might just be a starting point.  You develop, add characters, expand, and lie (Picasso said that art is the lie that make you see the truth).  If you have promising raw material in front of you, why bother to invent?  The odds are that you will have a more compelling connection with what you have actually seen or experienced, an enthusiasm that might well be contagious to a reader.  A friend once told me he knew where one of my stories came from and proceeded to describe the event.  I told him he was right, but wasn’t my version a lot more interesting than what actually happened?  On the other hand, my mother was hurt by my first published story where I hadn’t invented enough to disguise real events and people.  In graduate school, hungry to get into print, I expanded on an incident in the extended family.  I had already published a poem about my grandfather’s death that my parents and the rest of the family were quite happy about.  But I had no intention of showing them the story.  An old high school friend, however, noticed my name on the cover of a journal just shelved in the Yale bookstore, bought two copies, and dropped one at my father’s gas station.  Big mistake.  A learning experience, as they say.  The story made a splash and got me letters of interest from a few agents, but I never reprinted it and I promised myself never to let something like that happen again.”

allegianceWhat kind of research did you have to conduct in order to write this book?

“Very recently I did some research about tarot cards and fortune telling—something I needed for a scene in a story still not quite finished.  But normally, I write about what I know.  In this new collection, there are several stories about deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. I’ve done that a lot.  No research necessary.  At an AWP conference some years ago, I was talking to two poets about scuba diving.  A few weeks later I got a phone call from one of them who wanted to write a poem about the subject and asked me a lot of questions, especially about what you heard while underwater.  The residual prankster in me was tempted to lie, say something about the plucking of harp strings and that once I heard Paul McCartney and the Wings singing “Band on the Run,” likely coming from a boat anchored nearby.  But I didn’t.  All to say, you risk losing an authoritative voice if you flub the details.  The old workshop wisdom: Write about what you know.”

You have written significantly more poetry than stories.  Do you ever wish you wrote more stories, or do you prefer poetry?

“That’s a good question.  I’m really addicted to both even though I’ve written more poetry, perhaps because I edited a poetry journal for thirty years or so.  I also write essays and a lot of reviews.  The plus is that if you are working in a number of genres, you don’t get blocked.  If you get stuck on a poem or a story, say, put it on the back burner, and turn to a review.  When working on something else, I find the problem with the poem or story will often solve itself.  I also like to write stories because it gives my sense of humor a chance to exercise.  I like to laugh, but I don’t have the talent to write funny poems.  The short story allows me to have characters interact in humorous ways.”

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

“I came to reading and writing late.  I was an action junkie in high school, an average student at best, and faked my way through.  I thought nothing could be more boring than quietly hunkering down to read a book.  And I didn’t.  In college freshman English, one of our first assignments was to read a short story by William Faulkner, “Barn Burning,” then write an essay.  I loved Faulkner’s vocabulary and use of language.  I said to myself, “Man, what have I been missing!”  A week later, our teacher told the class he was going to read two of the best essays, examples of quality writing he expected from everyone.  To my great surprise, one of the essays was mine.  I’d never been praised for anything in high school, nor did I deserve to be.  Now I had a new identity.  My teacher urged me to join the staff of the literary magazine, and I did.  I suppose you could draw a fairly straight line from that short story in freshman comp to my doctoral dissertation on Faulkner.  All along the way I was writing poetry, reviews, and fiction as well.”

Has your writing career affected your style of teaching English at East Carolina University in any way? If so, how?

“I never had the benefit of a creative writing course.  Few colleges and universities offered them when I was a student.  So my writing career certainly had an influence on the way I taught fiction and poetry writing courses.  I would talk about what I had slowly learned the hard way, through trial and error, talk about clichés, revision, narrative structure, round and flat characters, sound, rhythm, imagery, scene, dialogue etc.  On the other hand, when teaching a course on Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Welty, O’Connor, or a course on Modern or Contemporary poetry, I’d revert to my academic training as a literary critic but still try to make the lectures lively as possible in order to interest students in these great writers.”

Peter Makuck’s Allegiance and Betrayal was published this April.  For more information or to purchase a copy (at our 30% SPRING SALE discount), visit the Syracuse University Press website.


New Arrival!

Carmilla: A Critical Edition
By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edited by Kathleen Costello-Sullivan

CarmillaFirst serialized in the journal “The Dark Blue” and published shortly thereafter in the short story collection In a Glass Darkly, Le Fanu’s 1872 vampire tale is in many ways the overlooked older sister of Bram Stoker’s more acclaimed Dracula. A thrilling gothic tale, Carmilla tells the story of a young woman lured by the charms of a female vampire.

This edition includes a student-oriented introduction, tracing the major critical responses to Carmilla, and four interdisciplinary essays by leading scholars who analyze the story from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Ranging from politics to gender, Gothicism to feminism, and nineteenth-century aestheticism to contemporary film studies, these critical yet accessible articles model the diverse ways that scholars can approach a single text. With a glossary, biography, bibliography, and explanatory notes on the text, this edition is ideal for students of Irish and British nineteenth-century literature.

“Costello-Sullivan’s exciting new edition of Le Fanu’s Carmilla, the sly 1872 Anglo-Irish vampire tale that laid the groundwork for the arguably less subtle Dracula, productively returns to the text’s original serialized publication format….This book is suitable for both undergraduates and advanced scholars of gender, sexuality, and Irish and film studies alike.”
—Mary Burke, author of‘Tinkers’: Synge and the Cultural History of the Irish Traveller


Book of the Month: Beyond Home Plate

Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball
Edited by Michael G. Long

Beyond Home PlateJackie Robinson is one of the most revered public figures of the twentieth century. He is remembered for both his athletic prowess and his strong personal character. The world knows him as the man who crossed baseball’s color line, but there is much more to his legacy. At the conclusion of his baseball career, Robinson continued in his pursuit of social progress through his work as a writer. Beyond Home Plate, an anthology of Jackie Robinson’s columns in the New York Post and the New York Amsterdam News, offers fresh insight into the Hall of Famer’s life and work following his historic years on the baseball diamond.

Robinson’s syndicated newspaper columns afforded him the opportunity to provide rich social commentary while simultaneously exploring his own life and experiences. He was free to write about any subject of his choosing, and he took full advantage of this license, speaking his mind about everything from playing Santa to confronting racism in the Red Sox nation, from loving his wife Rachel to despising Barry Goldwater, from complaining about Cassius Clay’s verbosity to teaching Little Leaguers how to lose well.

Robinson wrote to prod and provoke, inflame and infuriate, and sway and persuade. With their pointed opinions, his columns reveal that the mature Robinson was a truly American prophet, a civil rights leader in his own right, furious with racial injustice and committed to securing first class citizenship for all. These fascinating columns also depict Robinson as an indebted son, a devoted husband, a tenderhearted father, and a hardworking community leader. Robinson believed that his life after his baseball career was far more important than all of his baseball exploits. Beyond Home Plate shows why he believed this so fervently.

“Beyond baseball, beyond race, beyond politics, Jackie Robinson stands as one of the most important figures in American history, and Beyond Home Plate shows us why. Michael Long’s terrific book is an indispensable addition to the story of Robinson’s incredible journey.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season


Author Spotlight: Kim Jensen

Kim JensenBook: The Only Thing That Matters

Kim Jensen is an associate professor of English at the Community College of Baltimore County.  She puts her profession to practice as the author of The Woman I Left Behind, and the collection of poems, Bread Alone.  Her writing and poetry have been featured in a spread of anthologies and journals, including The Baltimore Review, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Rain Taxi Review, Al Jadid, and Imagine Peace.  Jensen’s newest book The Only Thing That Matters, to be published next month, is another powerful collection of poems derived from the ideas and vocabulary of radical poet and novelist Fanny Howe and transformed into astonishing new formulations.

What is on your nightstand now?

“That’s a loaded question, considering that my iPad/Kindle is sitting on my nightstand, full of all kinds of books! In any case, the nightstand is piled high with paper texts too. Right now: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; The Gift by the great Persian Mystic poet, Hafiz; The Glance by Rumi, another of the most wonderful Sufi poets; a powerful novel about the Colombian civil war called The Armies by Evelio Rosero; Blood Dazzler by spoken word poet Patricia Smith. Also various books by: Mahmoud Darwish, Louise Erdrich, Anton Chekhov, Alice Munro, Wolfgang Iser, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Two more: The Gun and the Olive Branch by David Hirst and The Palestinians by Rosemary Sayigh—a must read for anyone interested in the Palestinian struggle.”

What was your favorite book as a child?

“This question digs at a mystery that has plagued me for years. Once upon a time, my family had a collection of fairytales with the most wonderful illustrations that I can still picture to this day. I used to stare at those colorful illustrations for hours. The book has since disappeared and I have often wondered what it was and who published it. I long to revisit that book with adult eyes to understand what was so mesmerizing. This is the meaning of childhood—a place full of nameless shadows that you can never quite retrieve.”

Who are your top five authors?

“I am against creating such a limited pantheon, even for fun. These kinds of short lists leave out too many names of poets, playwrights, novelists, fiction writers, philosophers, and theorists who have had a massive impact at various places and times. It’s not fair or even a healthy way of understanding the way literature and poetry move in and out of our lives, arriving, staying, receding, sometimes returning, sometimes not.  Great as they are, why should Balzac or Tolstoy or Flaubert be on the list (for me), but not Richard Wright or Mahmoud Darwish? Why should Darwish be on the list, but not Simone Weil? Why should Shakespeare be on the list, but not Achebe, Rumi, Marx, Sophocles, Nietzsche, or Oscar Wilde? And where would Toni Morrison’s Beloved go? Or The Great Gatsby? Or Hemingway? Alice Munro and Louise Erdrich? Or Marquez? And that’s just to name the famous ones, not to mention the unsung poets of the trenches, bars, and streets.  Or authors who have written single-hit masterpieces, but who never get to make it into these kinds of “best-of” compilations. Impossible. Is there a place for Emily Dickinson? August Wilson? Raymond Carver? June Jordan? This could go on and on.

So as not to disappoint, I will say this: if I had to put one author at the very tippy top of my own teetering pyramid, it would be Chekhov. His short stories are perfection. Untouchable. The sublime meeting of insight, technique, and compassion make Chekhov unmatched—for me.”

What book have you faked reading?

“I don’t claim to have read books that I haven’t read; however, I may nod with a kind of mock confidence when their names come up in conversation. I’ve never finished Orientalism by Edward Said, but I refer to its ideas without having read more than a few chapters.”

What book are you an evangelist for?

“Before Jennifer Egan won her big Pulitzer Prize last year for A Visit From the Good Squad and rendered all of my evangelizing obsolete, I used to get on the Egan pulpit. I am personally responsible for any number of converts. Four years ago, a friend of mine bought Look at Me for my daughter. I borrowed it and gobbled it up, astonished at Egan’s huge talent.”

Have you ever bought a book for its cover? Which one?

“I have not. For someone who loves reading as much as I do, I find bookstores overwhelming and even depressing at times, especially the big, corporate stores. There is a wonderful radical bookstore in Baltimore called Red Emma’s in which I have the opposite experience—very enlivening. Yet, I still don’t buy a book for its cover, even there.  When I step into a book store, it’s usually to buy something I already have on my mind. If it is an impulse purchase, it will be something that I have read a review of, or a classic text that I should finally read, so I can stop just nodding knowingly and get into the conversation!”only thing that matters

What book changed your life?

“The five experimental novels by Fanny Howe that are now compiled one book now called Radical Love (Night Boat Books, 2005) had a huge impact on my life. These are experimental and poetic novels for adventurous readers who are also spiritual seekers. My new collection of poetry (The Only Thing that Matters) is based on my study of her poetry. Readers can read a recent interview that I conducted with Fanny Howe for Bomb Magazine.”

What is your favorite line from a book?

“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism.”

What book do you most want to read again for the first time?

“That anonymous book of fairytales with the exquisite drawings that was lost to time and entered the realm of personal myth. I wish I could start all over with that one!”

Kim Jensen’s The Only Thing That Matters makes a great addition to your National Poetry Month reading list.  To learn more about this title or pre-order now visit the Syracuse University Press website.

Questions from the popular Shelf Awareness Book Brahmin series. 


Author Spotlight: Sinéad Moynihan

Book: “Other People’s Diasporas”: Negotiating Race in Contemporary Irish and Irish-American Culture

Sinead website picSinéad Moynihan is a lecturer in twentieth-century literature at the University of Exeter.  In addition to several book chapters and articles, she is the author of Passing into the Present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing. After awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust in 2007, Moynihan started writing her newest Syracuse University Press title, to be published this April, “Other People’s Diasporas”: Negotiating Race in Contemporary Irish and Irish-American Culture.

Tell us about “Other People’s Diasporas.”

Other People’s Diasporas” is concerned with Irish and Irish-American cultural production in the context of unprecedented in-migration to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger.  How did Irish writers, filmmakers, dramatists and stand-up comics confront Ireland’s changed demographics in their work? I argue that they did so by mediating these contemporary concerns about Ireland through narratives that (re)imagined Irish diasporic experience in the United States.  For example, Joseph O’Connor wrote a novel about emigration to New York during the Great Famine at precisely the moment when immigration into Ireland was at its peak.  How are we to interpret this gesture? The book is divided into five chapters, two on contemporary Irish writers (Joseph O’Connor and Roddy Doyle), one on Irish and Irish-American drama (Donal O’Kelly and Ronan Noone), one on stand-up comedy (Des Bishop) and one on Irish and Irish-American cinema (The Nephew and In America).”

Could you briefly describe the economic growth under the “Celtic Tiger?”

“From about the mid-1990s on, Ireland entered a period of unprecedented economic growth.  The Irish economy expanded at a rate of about 9.4% between 1995 and 2000 and this growth continued, though not at the same rate, until 2008.  The first recorded use of the expression “Celtic Tiger” was by Kevin Gardiner of Morgan Stanley in London, who drew a comparison between Ireland’s growth and the Asian “tiger” economies.  This expansion had enormous consequences for Ireland: for the first time, it effectively boasted full employment, many emigrants of the 1980s and early 1990s returned to Ireland to live, property prices soared and, the issue in which I’m interested, suddenly immigration began to exceed emigration by a wide margin.  The years of the “boom” or the “economic miracle” lasted until about 2008, when Ireland, like many other countries worldwide, was hit by a severe recession.”

What kind of obstacles did the new immigrants in Ireland face?

“It’s very difficult to generalise about this, since there were so many “categories” of immigrant to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years and, of course, each individual person has a wide range of experiences.  There were many immigrants from EU countries.  For example, the Polish –  who tended to be white, Catholic and had good English, or were very willing to learn it – perhaps found Ireland more welcoming than other immigrants did, simply because, to Irish natives, they seemed less “different” or “other.”  On the other hand, asylum-seekers had a very difficult time because they weren’t permitted to work while their application for asylum was being considered and they were often housed in small towns in the midlands or the west of Ireland (because this was cheaper than housing them in urban areas) .  Those communities had often had few or no encounters with ethnic minorities prior to their arrival.”

other-peoples-diasporasHow was the arrival of immigrants in the rising economy beneficial for the Irish natives?  How was it detrimental?

“It was beneficial in any number of ways.  Most practically, and in purely economic terms, many immigrants took jobs that Irish natives, more affluent than previously, were now unwilling to take.  They were therefore responsible for the provision of many services, without which the economy would not have run as smoothly or as successfully.  This is in line with what has happened in other economically successful countries around the world which began to attract migrants because of the availability of work.  The downside to this, of course, is that as soon as there is a downturn in the economy, as has happened in Ireland, Irish natives are more likely to see immigrants as “taking” jobs that would otherwise be available for them.  I try to grapple with some of these issues in the epilogue to my book.”

What did writing this book entail?

“The groundwork of this project was laid as early as 2005, when I presented a paper on Jim Sheridan’s In America at a Transatlantic Studies conference in Nottingham, where I was undertaking my Ph.D. on an unrelated subject.  I read the film in the context of the referendum on Irish Citizenship of June 2004.  When that referendum took place, I had only been living in England for nine months.  I was so incensed by the implications of it that I went back to Ireland to vote against it, not that this did any good, since 79% of the population voted in favour of it.  By the time I finished my Ph.D. and applied for postdoctoral funding, which I was awarded, I was absolutely sure that I wanted my next project to about the implications of this referendum and how questions of race and immigration were being negotiated in contemporary Irish culture.  I had two years in which to complete the project, which I did.  It was a straightforward book to write, partly because I was so impassioned by the subject matter and partly because I had very good access to Irish media and popular culture, through frequent visits back to Ireland and through friends and relatives who did a lot of information-gathering on my behalf.”

Can you explain the title “Other People’s Diasporas”?  How did you come up with it?

“The term “Other People’s Diasporas” is taken from a quotation by sociologist Steve Garner.  In the early days of researching this book, I read his book, Racism in the Irish Experience (2004), where he poses the question: “Yet what happens when other people’s diasporas converge on the homeland of a diasporic people?” What I really liked was that embedded in the term “other people’s diasporas” was the implication of a connection between both historical emigration and contemporary immigration to Ireland.  I was interested in precisely this connection.  In other words, how have Irish writing, cinema, stand-up comedy and so on responded to the influx of immigrants to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years? They have done so by mediating their concerns through narratives of emigration to the U.S.”

For more information on Moynihan’s engaging exploration “Other People’s Diasporas,” visit the Syracuse University Press website.  It’s available for pre-order now!