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Like many another before me, when I came to live in Ireland I found a whole new homeland. Everyone had a story to tell and most of them were telling it in print and verse, or as a play. The hills of Ireland are alive with the sound of stories. And as I began to write stories about Irish children I got to know a great many of the established children’s writers. They and writers of all kinds became friends and even fellow golfers, as well as being colleagues that I met at various festivals, seminars and conferences. We went to each other’s book launches and to visit each other’s houses so when I was invited to select and commission stories for this anthology I did not have to look very far. And in one case I only had to look across the room as my wife Maeve Binchy is also a writer. All authors write at the very last minute but Maeve knew that she HAD to deliver this one in on time since I could actually see whether she was working on it or not!The stories range from passion to courage to anxiety and self loathing. They’re set against family backgrounds, generation gaps, religious differences and a host of different situations. They reflect a people who grew up in a country at a time of great change. And being Irish, writing seems as natural to these authors as talking is. We hear a lot of different voices in their stories and I believe the book conveys the huge variety of Irish life, with all its dreams, hopes, and expectations. I really and truly enjoyed those weeks when I was waiting to read what stories the mail brought each day. This collection will always be special to me because it contains the stories of friends and people I admire. I’m proud to have brought them all together between the same covers.
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