We are All Irish (And Immigrants) Today - Erin Go Bragh!
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

We are All Irish (And Immigrants) Today - Erin Go Bragh!

Kiss me I'm Irish!  At least, today I am.  In reality, I am a very American mix of different cultures (Italian, Polish, Russian). But today I am Irish -- and as this is St. Patrick's Day, I am celebrating all things green, including being an immigrant or, at least the grandchild of greenhorns.  I thought of this a lot as I wrote LIE -- my debut novel -- the idea that each generation has its new wave of immigrants, and each generation of Americans rejects that new wave of immigrants. My novel is about a hate crime in the suburbs against Hispanic immigrants. Yet, The New York Times, in an editorial today, "It's About Immigrants, Not Irishness" points out that the Irish were along the first immigrants who were reviled by established Americans.  In the mid-to-late 1800s,  the waves of Irish fleeing from famine in Ireland, they were met in America by signs posted in front of businesses that stated: No Irish or Blacks need apply.  They were ridiculed by established newspapers, made fun of in newspaper cartoons as drunks, and denigrated for their Catholic religion. But today, we celebrate being Irish, for all the great accomplishments of the Irish -- the writers and poets, the proud workers who built our railways and our major cities, and for their children and their children's children who contribute to the richness of America today. And as Peter Behrens, today's New York Times editorial writer, points out, perhaps we should all celebrate being immigrants as well. Erin Go Bragh!  Ireland Forever! Truly, the author ofLIE, the critically-acclaimed young adult novel about a hate crime by white teens against Hispanic immigrants. LIE, from St. Martin's Press, is available in print and ebook versions.

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