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  • Published: 2 October 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099428190
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

Booking Passage

We Irish & Americans

'I'm in awe of Thomas Lynch's way with language: the plain-spoken honesty of this poet's prose' - Elmore Leonard

In February of 1970, Thomas Lynch, aged twenty-one, bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. He landed in the townland of Moveen, at the edge of the ocean in West Clare, outside the thatched cottage that his great-grandfather had left late in the nineteenth century with a one-way ticket to America. Tommy and Nora Lynch, Thomas Lynch's elderly, unmarried, distant cousins welcomed the young American 'home'. In the words of the author, 'it changed my life'.

Booking Passage is part travelogue, part cultural study, part memoir and elegy, part guidebook for what Lynch calls 'fellow pilgrims' working their way through their own and the larger histories. It is a magnificent hymn of praise to Ireland.

  • Published: 2 October 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099428190
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch is the award winning author of three collections of poems and three books of nonfiction, including The Undertaking- Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. His work has appeared in the Atlantic and New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, and Paris Review. His commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, the Irish Times and The Times and are regularly broadcast on the BBC, RTE and NPR. He lives in Milford, Michigan, and Moveen, West Clare.

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Praise for Booking Passage

A curious and engaging series of pieces which retain a personal and historical flavour...while he is excellent on Irish history and the immigrant experience

Stephanie Merritt, Observer

By turns diverting, evocative and provocative, Booking Passage gets to grips with all the muddle and multiplicity of its author's lifelong concerns. It does so, to our enjoyment, in a spirit of discernment and delight'

Patricia Craig, Independent

A lovely book

Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

There are some beautiful observations about what it means to embrace a new culture, while holding on to, and romanticising, an old one...[with] lyrical and moving descriptions of Ireland, Irishness and the linguistic consequences of American cultural imperialism

Time Out

Profound, funny and immensely moving

Sunday Times

Beautifully written in a masterly style with the poet's touch on every page

Irish Independent

Diverting, evocative and provocative


His style has energy that takes my breath away it's so fresh and unexpected

Elmore Leonard

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