Val Mulkerns Memoir for Summer 2017

front-cover-webA memoir by renowned Irish author Val Mulkerns will become a 451 Editions summer read for 2017.

Entitled Friends With the Enemy, the book covers the author’s early years growing up in an artistic family and leaving Ireland after the war to work as a teacher in England.  During the fifties, after moving back to Ireland, she began to write, and became an associate editor and theatre critic of The Bell, a famed Irish literary review founded by Sean O’Faolain.

From her debut novel A Time Outworn to her most recent book Memory and Desire, this is the author’s eleventh book, and covers many interesting aspects of life and literary times in Ireland over the course of over fifty years as a writer in Ireland.

2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 November 10th, 2016|

“After Kafra” new publication date

01-after-kafra-bordAfter Kafra, Martin Malone’s hard-hitting novel about a soldier’s return to civilian life in Ireland is to be published now in 2018, in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary of the Irish Defense Forces’ first posting in the Middle East.

The theme and substance of this, Malone’s second novel, remains fresh for Irish readers, since Irish forces are needed and serve more than ever today in peacekeeping missions across the world.

The novel is also important in that it constitutes an Irish contribution to the growing genre of “post conflict literature”.

It deals with post-traumatic stress syndrome, the difficulties for an individual who has experienced war to settle back to a “normal” life and how the lives of anyone who has lived in a combat zone are affected forever by the experience.

Tough, heart breaking and a great read to boot, we look forward to the second edition of After Kafra in 2018.

2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 September 6th, 2016|

Anne Enright reviews “Memory and Desire” in Irish Times

Val-review-imageIrish Laureate for fiction Anne Enright reviews: Click left for link, or read down

Memory and Desire by Val Mulkerns review:  the way we lived then

Val Mulkerns was a presence on the bookshelves of my childhood home. Her short stories in particular were read with the odd interest we bring to the work of someone close to us. Mulkerns’s husband was a colleague of my father’s in the Civil Service, and she was also a journalist and the mother of a journalist. (Her daughter, Maev Kennedy, worked at this newspaper for many years.)

Mulkerns was part of the texture of things, and this made her work harder to see, somehow. So it was with a peculiar sense of deja vu that I returned to the stories as an adult reader and recognised, for the first time, how good they are. Special Category, the first piece in this collection, echoes the life of her father, Jimmy Mulkerns, who was imprisoned in Knutsford jail and then Frongoch after fighting in the Four Courts during 1916.

The main character, Bartholmew Mullens, suffers deprivation and torture in prison at the hands of an Irishman in British uniform. He also receives an unexpected visit from a girl who hails from Drumcondra but is in England on holiday. He asks her to bring along her elder sister, Harriet, if she ever visits again.


2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 June 8th, 2016|