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'We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It'


Tom Phelan, (member of the Irish Cultural Society) the Freeport-based author of six novels, was born in 1940 and brought up on a boggy 52-acre farm outside Mountmellick, County Laois, in the Irish midlands. He now gives us a memoir, “We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It,” a nimble exercise in storytelling in which he shapes his recollections into a series of richly detailed vignettes. At our December 4th meeting at the Garden City Pulblic Library (7:30pm), Tom will read selections from the book which will make the audience laugh (The Jubilee Nurse) and applaud the level of Tom's father, a "pre-modern father", brings to Mam and the children. Tom is a gifted writer and a masterful story teller.

The secret of Tom Phelan's gifts as a writer is now known nation-wide, perhaps internationally. The richness of Tom Phelan's language and the color of the people he invites into his chapters invite refugees from Angela's Ashes to return to the Ireland of our imaginations.

Katherine A. Powers recently reviewed Tom's memoir in Newsday. Read the entire Newsday review by clicking here.


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