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American Wake

The first book I wrote, although I set it aside. The name comes from the ritual when young men and women left Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th century. With no phones and so many illiterates, the departure for America was like a death, so they held a wake. The book tells the story of two Irish immigrants to the United States and how destiny pulls them in different directions. One heads home to fight in the Irish Civil War, while the other remains in America. But at its core it’s about whether an immigrant’s identity is tied to the land of their birth or new country. Whether Irish, Italian, Kenyan, or Chinese, this is a question for all U.S. immigrants.

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