We are so delighted to welcome back author Mary Pat Kelly, celebrating the release of her new novel, Irish Above All. Joining Mary Pat for this program will be singer Catherine O'Connell, who specializes in classic Irish tunes. What a great way to kick off your St. Patty's Day week! Please join us. This event is free and open to the public.
About Irish Above All: After ten years in Paris, where she learned photography and became part of the movement that invented modern art, Chicago-born, Irish-American Nora Kelly is at last returning home. Her skill as a photographer will help her cousin Ed Kelly in his rise to Mayor of Chicago (1933-1947). But when she captures the moment an assassin's bullet narrowly misses President-elect Franklin Roosevelt and strikes Anton Cermak in February 1933, she enters a world of international intrigue and danger. She must balance family obligations against her encounters with larger-than-life historical characters, such as Joseph Kennedy, Big Bill Thompson, Al Capone, Mussolini, and the circle of women who surround F.D.R. Nora moves through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II, but it's her unexpected trip to Ireland that transforms her life.
About Mary Pat Kelly: as an author and filmmaker, Mary Pat has told many stories connected to Ireland. She is the author of the novels Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood and is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine. As a filmmaker her credits include Proud starring Ossie Davis and Stephen Rea, three award-winning PBS documentaries, and work in television for Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live. She wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Abby's Song. A graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Kelly received her PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Named one of the Top-100 Irish Americans, she was born and raised in Chicago and lives in New York with her husband, app developer Martin Sheerin from County Tyrone.
About Catherine O'Connell: Singer Catherine O'Connell grew up in Chicago. Catherine developed her distinctive style and dramatic stage presence by performing in dozens of pubs, saloons and cabarets in Chicago, New York and the Caribbean. Leaving the club scene to raise three boys, she switched direction in her career to focus on more intimate spaces in the city and suburbs, where the emotional impact of her singing has gathered her a large and devoted following. The Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan says, "Catherine is an original, as gifted a singer and as sensitive a performer as I have ever heard and seen. She might easily have become a star in the New York scene but, God love her, she's tied to our town." From saloons to Symphony Center, chapels to cathedrals, funeral homes to festival halls, Catherine has touched the hearts and lifted the spirits of thousands of Chicagoans.
Mary Pat Kelly draws upon family heritage to continue the story of Nora Kelly--begun in Of Irish Blood--with a striking novel of historical fiction in Irish Above All.