The Nana

The Nana

Written by Alice Taylor, Photographs by Emma Byrne

The Irish nana is a repository of family history, memory and lore. Alice celebrates her own nanas, part of the generation born after the Great Famine. She herself is now a nana too, and explores the old and the new, the ‘then’ and ‘now’, the nana of yesteryear and of today, with her characteristic empathy and love.

Hardback: €22.99
Hardback: 240 pages
Size:216x135 mm
ISBN: 9781788493864

E-Book (ePub): €11.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781788494076

Category: Biography/Memoir

The Irish nana is a repository of family history, memory and lore. Sometimes, like the Italian nonna, she is also a ‘walking cookbook’, carrying the old knowledge of how things were best done.

Alice’s own grandmothers, Nana Taylor and Nana Ballyduane, were the first generation after the Great Famine, born in the 1860s. These women taught their families the Irish traditions and habits of homemaking that survived for centuries, and are now almost gone.

Now Alice herself is a nana too, and this book takes us through three generations and almost a century and a half. She explores the old and the new, the ‘then’ and ‘now’, the nana of yesteryear and of today, with her characteristic empathy and love.

Alice Taylor

Alice Taylor lives in the village of Innishannon in County Cork, in a house attached to the local supermarket and post office. Since her eldest son has taken over responsibility for the shop, she has been able to devote more time to her writing.

Alice Taylor worked as a telephonist in Killarney and Bandon. When she married, she moved to Innishannon where she ran a guesthouse at first, then the supermarket and post office. She and her husband, Gabriel Murphy, who sadly passed away in 2005, had four sons and one daughter. In 1984 she edited and published the first issue of Candlelight, a local magazine which has since appeared annually. In 1986 she published an illustrated collection of her own verse.

To School Through the Fields was published in May 1988. It was an immediate success, and quickly became the biggest selling book ever published in Ireland. It launched Alice on a series of signing sessions, talks and readings the length and breadth of Ireland. Her first radio interview, forty two minutes long on RTÉ Radio's Gay Byrne Show, was the most talked about radio programme of 1988, and her first television interview, of the same length, was the highlight of the year on RTÉ television's Late Late Show. Since then she has appeared on radio programmes such as Woman's Hour, Midweek and The Gloria Hunniford Show, and she has been the subject of major profiles in the Observer and the Mail on Sunday.

Alice has written nearly twenty books since then, large exploring her village of Inishannon, and the way of life in rural Ireland. She has also written poetry and fiction: her first novel, The Woman of the House, was an immediate bestseller in Ireland, topping the paperback fiction lists for many weeks.

One of Ireland's most popular authors, her most recent book is And Life Lights Up.

I always get very excited when Alice Taylor’s latest book arrives on my desk and her newest offering [The Nana] once again does not disappoint … it’s like being wrapped up in a patchwork quilt of Nana’s love … the book is absolutely gorgeous, I would suggest anyone to pick it up and buy it … a gorgeous present

C103’s Cork Today with Patricia Messenger
Emma Byrne

Emma Byrne is a graphic designer and artist. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design. She has won numerous awards for her design including The IDI (Irish Design Institute) Graduate Designer of the Year, the IDI Promotional Literature Award for her work on Brown Morning, and a Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Merit Award for her work on Something Beginning With P: New Poems from Irish Poets. She has illustrated many books, including Best-Loved Oscar Wilde, Best Loved Yeats, The Most Beautiful Letter in the World by Karl O’Neill, a special edition of Ulysses by James Joyce, and A Terrible Beauty by Mairéad Ashe Fitzgerald. She lives in a thatched house in Co. Wexford.

Also by Alice Taylor:

And Time Stood Still
Across the River
House of Memories
The Parish
The Woman of the House
The Village

Go to author page...

Also by Emma Byrne:

Irish Thatch
Irish Thatched Cottages
Best-Loved Irish Ballads
The Most Beautiful Letter in the World
Spirit of the Titanic
Tea and Talk

Go to author page...

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