cover image Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America

Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America

Joseph O'Connor, Joseph O'Conner. Roberts Rinehart Publishers, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57098-105-0

O'Connor, who was born in Dublin, set out to write a book on the U.S. based on the nine towns in America named Dublin. Arriving from Ireland, he lands in Boston, where he sees his first pornographic movie, is awed by the Boston accent, which reminds him of sheep talking, and suffers tremendous hangovers. In Dublin, N.H., he finds disappointment, as the town ""was so small it was almost portable."" Then a side trip to New York City, where he admires drag queens in Greenwich Village, incorrectly describes the Brooklyn Bridge as towering over the Hudson and observes that ""New Yorkers are basically children."" His condescending attitude continues as he visits Dublins in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and California. The author, the brother of Irish pop icon Sinead O'Connor, seems only to enjoy himself on a side trip to Nashville, where he enthusiastically worships at the shrine of Elvis and contemplates the connection between the Everly Brothers and the poetry of William Butler Yeats. A travelogue for the hip who won't be upset with snide comments passing as humor and insight. (Sept.)