Girl in Irish is a compelling and remarkable achievement. Why remarkable? Because Eanlai Cronin has convincingly created the voice, the interior mind, of a girl from a small Irish village, from the time she’s four until she graduates from high school. We witness the child’s awareness grow and change as she confronts the abuse and cultural divides she is heir to. This is a difficult thing to do, and Cronin pulls it off with ease – it’s like making fire-swallowing look effortless.
When I was in high school, we had to read Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Would that we had this to read instead! Girl in Irish – portrait of the artist who survives her sister’s cruelty, the isolation of her small country village, who develops the ability to imagine a different future, who develops the ability to imagine. The artist who reinvents imagination, through particularity, into a path any yearning soul can follow.
—Elana Dykewomon, author of Beyond the Pale, Risk and Mooncreek Road
The world is richer for Eanlai Cronin’s brave Girl in Irish. The delicacy and fineness of the emotional revelations can best be compared to two of my favorite writers, Virginia Woolf and Proust. More than a coming-of-age memoir, Girl in Irish is a comment on the state of being human, and the incredible symphony of feeling the world stirs within us. This is a story that takes tremendous courage to tell, and Eanlai Cronin has risen to the challenge with remarkable grace, eloquence, and equanimity.
—Lindsey Alexander, former editor with Harper Collins