The Big Yank

Memoir of a Boy Growing Up Irish

Coming of age memoir about growing up in Ireland in the late 60’s/early 70’s. From the age of 9, the author was made smuggle food supplies from the North of Ireland into the South, in order to increase profits from his father’s restaurant business. From there we are introduced to his Grandfather, a lovable rogue whose self-entertainment pranks know no bounds. Growing up in an impoverished family and era, the author was fairly much forced to cut his childhood short and assume a man’s role on the family farm when his father was diagnosed as suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. His father’s disease does nothing to halt his penchant for coming up with completely unconventional methods of making a living, or places in which to live (a double-decker bus on the side of a Donegal mountain.) The reader is taken on a whirlwind adventure of life in Ireland without electricity or running water, where school clothes came out of brown parcels from an aunt in America and pets remained part of the family until it was time for them to be eaten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.P. Sexton on Twitter
J.P. Sexton
The Irish are known throughout the world as being consummate story tellers. Very few of us are even conscious of our ability to tell a good story. It is completely natural. Over the years I would occasionally meet up with my brother after one of my adventures around the world and inevitably he would want to hear stories. I obliged without thinking. I thought nothing of it until one time he told me that when I told him a story, he felt as if he was in the story with me, seeing everything I had seen, through my eyes.
"The Big Yank" grew organically in such a way, with no preconceived thoughts of writing a memoir. I was surprised to realize that people from all walks of life and corners of the world enjoyed hearing the strange stories of a boy growing up in Ireland. It was an incredibly interesting experience for me to read what I was writing. Although I lived this life first-hand, it was the first time I had been able to view my life as a journey. A crazy, non-typical Irish boy's journey through childhood. A childhood which often failed to recognize me as a child.

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