Irish Americans -- fiction

No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew it Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again

By Edgardo Vega Yunqué

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"An epic novel of jazz, race and the effects of war on an American family This sweeping drama of intimately connected families --black, white, and Latino-- boldly conjures up the ever-shifting cultural mosaic that is America. At its heart is Vidamia Farrell, half Puerto Rican, half Irish, who sets out in search of the father she has never known. Her journey takes her from her affluent home to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where her father Billy Farrell now lives with his second family. Once a gifted jazz pianist, Billy lost two fingers in the Vietnam War and has since shut himself off from jazz.

"In this powerful modern odyssey, VidamÍa struggles to bring her father back to the world of jazz. Her quest gives her a new understanding of family, particularly through her half-sisters Fawn, a lonely young poet plagued with a secret, and Cookie, a sassy, streetsmart homegirl who happens to be "white." And when VidamÍa becomes involved with a young African-American jazz saxophonist, she is forced to explore her own complex roots, along with the dizzying contradictions of race etched in the American psyche. Edgardo Vega YunquÉ vividly captures the myriad voices of our American idiom like a virtuoso spinning out a series of expanding riffs, by turns lyrical, deadly, flippant, witty, and haunting."

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Billy Boyle

By James R. Benn

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"What’s a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop who’s never been out of Massachusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, he’d barely made detective when war was declared. Unwilling to fight—and perhaps die—for England, he was relieved when his mother wangled a job for him on the staff of a general married to her distant cousin. But the general turns out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose headquarters are in London, which is undergoing the Blitz. And Uncle Ike wants Billy to be his personal investigator.

"Billy is dispatched to the seat of the Norwegian government in exile. Operation Jupiter, the impending invasion of Norway, is being planned, but it is feared that there is a German spy amongst the Norwegians."

First of a series.

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