Tag Archives: Australia

Another Milestone Reached

This post celebrates that Being Bookish has to date had visitors from 40 countries. Thanks to all who have taken the time to explore the site and have clicked on to the various links provided.

In response to requests I am posting an update on how readers may purchase copies of Against The Wind: Memoir of a Dissident Dubliner. Copies, both in print and as an e-book may be obtained from Amazon.com worldwide. E-books can also be downloaded from http://www.kobo.com and hard copies can also be purchased from most leading booksellers in Australia, (ISBN: 1-922086-53-3).

I also have a limited number of original copies for sale that I will sign and send on request. On current exchange rates the price including postage is:-

Within Australia; $24 .95 per copy.

Overseas; $35.00(AUD) or $26.00 (US) or 20.65 EURO.

Payment can be made as listed below:

PayPal to my e-mail address (jandjobrien@bigpond.com) or pay with credit card via a PayPal e-mail invoice from me (no need to be PayPal registered and no fee for purchaser).
Please notify when money is deposited if using PayPal as although they will notify me, they may not give your full shipping address.

Apart from this site other articles I have written may be viewed on http://www.thenewwildgeese.com a site I can highly recommend you explore.

The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership: Celebrating Your Brand’s Irish Story ‘Wherever Green Is Worn’

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An historian comments


Memoirs of an Irish childhood in the years after independence have become a popular genre in Irish writing in the last decade. These memoirs can offer us some extraordinary glimpses into the Irish experience in the twentieth century.

 Against the Wind follows in a similar vein to Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, reciting a Irish Catholic childhood with bullying schoolteachers and priests, cultural restrictions due to the Catholic church and the intimacy between Church and State, particularly in relation to birth control – a development which ultimately convinces O’Brien to emigrate to Australia in 1968 – ‘I would not have “Mother Church” in our bedroom’. Also similar to Angela’s Ashes and Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark, O’Brien’s mother looms large in the narrative. She appears to influence his ideas on socialism and equality, as well as his eventual disillusionment with republicanism.

 This book is also timely, for two reasons. Its discussion on ideas of working-class development and of independence will resonate with many as we commemorate the 1913 Lockout and Irish revolution, questioning, perhaps, what was achieved with independence, particularly as the country goes through another heart-breaking recession which sees many citizens leave its shores, as O’Brien did throughout the 1950s to England and more permanently in 1968, to Australia. The book will also appeal to the Irish Diaspora, as O’Brien’s memories of migration to and from England for work in the lean years of 1950s Ireland will resonate with many. As thousands continue to emigrate every week for places like Australia, O’Brien reminds us in his closing lines, ‘There are Irishmen and there are men from Ireland… I am as Ireland made me. Intentionally or not’.

Dr Sarah Campbell
Modern Irish History
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Newcastle University

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