So I thought I'd do a few articles showcasing some of our great Irish Publishers.There are no less than 66 full members listed on the Publishing Ireland website, including many specialist publishing houses and Irish language publishers. Pretty good going eh! Everyone is talking about the demise of the independent book shop with the meteoric rise of Amazon, supermarket sales and the big boys pushing the smaller kids off the street. Surprisingly the independent book shop is thriving in France with new ones opening regularly, particularly in Paris. Cut price books don't seem to swamp the market there which may be part of the explanation. But what has not changed is that people still love to read, be it new releases, second-hand or ebook versions, and long may it last!
Next month is the Dublin Book Festival www.dublinbookfestival.com where the city can celebrate all things BOOK, but more about that in November. For now back to Irish publishers.
This first publisher is called A & A Farmar and is owned by Anna and Tony Farmar, both authors themselves and they operate out of an office in Dublin 6. They publish mainly non-fiction books with an Irish interest including biographies, food and wine, poetry and history amongst others. Their most recent books published are The Widest Circle edited by Barbara Sweetman Fitzgerald, Parley-Poet and Chanter: Pecker Dunne transcribed and edited by Michael O'hAodha (back in print by popular demand) and The Young are Desperate by Brendan Kennelly.
The Widest Circle, Remembering Michael Sweetman is about the life of Michael Sweetman, a Fine Gael activist who inspired radical changes in the 1980s through his involvement with the Just Society. Tragically killed in a plane crash in 1972, this book presents his ideas and contribution to Irish life.
Parley-Poet and Chanter is the story of a man born in a horse-drawn wagon in .Co. Mayo. Travelling the country for most of his life, he also traveled in Australia, played for huge audiences in New York, worked with The Dubliners and with the actor Richard Harris . He describes his battle with alcoholism, the hard life on the road, and the prejudices endured by Travellers.
The Young are Desperate is two novels originally published in the 1960s by poet Brendan Kennelly. In The Crooked Cross, a village is struck by a drought that is as much spiritual as physical, lamenting the tragedy of stifled energy. In The Florentines, a young man leaves Ireland to find joy in an English university, celebrating the energy of youth.
Al three can be ordered from the publishers website http://aafarmar.ie/