St. Patrick's Day
another day in Dublin
244 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 , 2 b&w halftones
Paperback | 9780268035389 | August 2016
Hardcover | 9780268100766 | September 2022
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268101053 | August 2016
- Press Kit
- Author Bio
On Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish American writer visiting Dublin takes a day trip around the city and muses on death, sex, lost love, Irish immigrant history, and his younger days as a student in Europe. Like James Joyce’s Ulysses, Thomas McGonigle’s award-winning novel St. Patrick’s Day takes place on a single day, combining a stream-of-consciousness narrative with masterful old-fashioned storytelling, which samples the literary histories of both Ireland and America and the worlds they influence. St. Patrick’s Day relies on an interior monologue to portray the narrator’s often dark perceptions and fantasies; his memories of his family in Patchogue, New York, and of the women in his life; and his encounters throughout the day, as well as many years ago, with revelers, poets, African students, and working-class Dubliners.
Thomas McGonigle’s novel is a brilliant portrait of the uneasy alliance between the Irish and Irish Americans, the result of the centuries-old diaspora and immigration, which left unsettled the mysteries of origins and legacy. St. Patrick’s Day is a rollicking pub-crawl through multi-sexual contemporary Dublin, a novel full of passion, humor, and insight, which makes the reader the author’s accomplice, a witness to his heartfelt memorial to the fraught love affair between ancestors and generations. McGonigle tells the stories both countries need to hear. This particular St. Patrick’s Day is an unforgettable one.
Thomas McGonigle was born in 1944 in Brooklyn. His previous novels, reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Voice Literary Supplement, include The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov and Going to Patchogue. He lives in New York City.
"If you crack open St. Patrick's Day, prepare for a stream-of-consciousness trip around Dublin's Grosvenor Square, with plenty of stops in pubs and parties. The reader is put in the mid of author Thomas McGonigle—both Thomas then and Thomas now. He intentionally obscures when the book takes place." —South Bend Tribune
"True to the self-revealing character of stream-of-consciousness, what you see is what you get with Tom. And other characters, whatever their status, are just as much mixed bags and passers-by as he is. No particular distinction or merit inheres in being a local, a native, a national. . . . But if in its simultaneous combinations and dislocations, its momentariness and recollection, St. Patrick’s Day provokes, in the long run it’s worth it. We could do with a bit more provocation." —Dublin Review of Books
“‘St. Patrick’s Day, another day in Dublin,” said one of Ireland’s leading poets, “gives the ‘Irish Novel’ a long outstanding and much-deserved kick up the arse into the 21st century. I praise the work mightily.” At least—as Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill doesn’t write in English—that’s the translation. And she further offered in the Irish language: “This is first-rate prose. From the evidence of both this book and his previously published novel ‘The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov,’ we realize we are in the presence of a great novelist in Thomas McGonigle. He puts a certain period of Dublin literary history before our eyes with freshness and honesty.’” —The Irish Echo
“This succinct multi-layered satire with Horatio-Alger ending pokes fun at the American Dream as well as the American-Irish Postcard Dream. The novel reminds me of Samuel Beckett’s early satiric novel, Murphy, as well as Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, yet McGonigle’s voice and style remains uniquely his own. This book is an important literary landmark. . . . It’s time America caught up to Thomas McGonigle. . . . St. Patrick’s Day is that rare novel that must be read with attention to stylistic shifts and an alert sense of humour.” —The Millbrook Independent
“Such is the difference in scope between Joyce’s project and McGonigle’s. Joyce’s focus was global, and his ambition was nothing less than resuscitating a culture that was perhaps on its final death knell before the unforeseen Easter Rising of 1916. McGonigle has fashioned a much more personal task for his narrator, remembering rather than creating history on new terms.” —American Book Review
"Saint Patrick's Day tells the story of one 'Tom McGonigle' and follows him as he wakes up on St. Patrick's Day, journeys through various drinking establishments, and interacts with the characters he meets along the way; so, what you get is a psychologically close rendering of a single man existing after the death of his father, as he drinks away his bequeathed inheritance. . . . The seeming lack of an awakening by 'Tom McGonigle' in St. Patrick's Day affects the reader in much the same way that waiting for the arrival of Godot in Samuel Beckett's 1953 play Waiting for Godot affects its readers." —The Hollins Critic
“[St. Patrick’s Day] deals with the larger issues of memory and loss, nationalism and identity, and language and meaning that so motivate Ulysses. . . . Mixed in with [McGonigle’s] memories of awkwardness, pain, and imagined ecstasy are musings on Irish culture and history, particularly the literary scene of the 1960s and 1970s.” —James Joyce Quarterly
“The novel reminds natives and tourists alike of the stone against which Irish identity is repeatedly hammered.” —American Book Review
“The journey through the parties and pubs is also a rich account of Dublin life . . . And that, along with the work’s associations of Joyce’s writings, and brief references to Yeats, Pound, Julien Green, Jack Spicer, Allen Ginsberg, and other writers along the way, provides this book with an emotional heft that pulls the reader through its pages and . . . helps him to care for the narrator.” —Rain Taxi Review of Books
“It’s surprising that more fiction has not been written about our national festival. Here an Irish-American author recounts a young Irish-American’s misadventures on a particular St. Patrick’ Day in Dublin.” —Books Ireland