Born in a Dublin tenement in the middle of the 20th century, this dead-poor, curious Irish girl escaped to Paris when she was 17 with the help of a nun, a Hollywood actor, and a kind stranger. There she was accepted into the emigre community blacklisted in the McCarthy era. She met James Baldwin and Ring Lardner, Jr.; Ruth Gordon gave her a fur coat. Still restless and full of dreams she spent years working her way around the world. On a ship bound for Egypt with her year-old daughter Aisling she fell in love with a radical longshoreman from San Francisco. The memoir Longing for Elsewhere explores the themes entangled in her journey: identity, adventure, creativity, the burdens of history, and the passion for justice.
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