Posts tagged “Ma He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes”
Irish author Martha Long discusses her book Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes, at Elliott Bay in Seattle
January 24, 2014
Friday, January 24th at 7pm
University Book Store
4326 University Way, N.E.
Seattle, Washington 98105
Join bestselling Irish author Martha Long, whose seven ‘Ma’ books about her extraordinary survival of the poverty-ridden streets of Dublin in the 60s have caused a sensation in Ireland and the UK. Martha will be speaking about her first book and the strength it took to tell her story, at her very first American book reading at University Book Store on Friday, January 24th at 7pm.
Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes is Martha’s heartbreaking story of a little girl faced with the difficult task of surviving in a world set against her. Born to a teenage mother in the slums of Dublin, Martha quickly learned to use her mischievousness, courage and wit to get her through the most desperate situations, never giving up hope that a better life existed for her. She rarely went to school, spent days going shop to shop stealing butter, begged for food and clothes from the convent, and did all she could to steer clear of her stepfather, Jackser (“that bandy ‘aul bastard”).
March 15, 2013
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In between the parade and a cold glass of Guinness, if you’d like to explore Irish culture on a deeper level, check out Martha Long’s memoir on growing up in the slums of Dublin in 1950s, MA, HE SOLD ME FOR A FEW CIGARETTES.
As Alice Walker says about the book,
“Reading this startling testament to one child’s valiant attempts to live until the age of sixteen is a worthy reminder that we can do better as adults if we turn to embrace the children who are suffering, anywhere on earth…”
And Counterpunch says,
“This is a searing account of childhood survival. No more haunting memoir has been published this year.”
Check out an interview with Martha on WORT-FM.
February 28, 2013
Martha Long grew up in a house of abuse, alcohol, and poverty. She had to deal with a neglectful mother and an angry and manipulative stepfather. But through all that, Martha was able to keep her wits, her sense of humor, and most importantly her hope.
During a Pledge Drive edition of A Public Affair on WORT, Cynthis Lin and Anjuli Brekke interviewed Martha Long about her book and about her harrowing childhood. You can listen to the whole interview on the website.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes.
Praise for Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes:
“This is a searing account of childhood survival. No more haunting memoir has been published this year.”—Counterpunch
“Coming-of-age hardships skillfully recounted by way of the colloquial Irish tongue.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Long’s story is a gritty, grueling, and heartbreaking testament to one girl’s unbreakable spirit.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
January 2, 2013
The New York Journal of Books calls Martha Long’s Ma, He Sold me for a few Cigarettes “a difficult, painful, and at times almost unbearable read. Yet this memoir should be widely read and discussed“. Her harrowing tale is noted for its pure honesty and its heartbreak, but maybe more importantly, its testament to one little girls determination to survive.
“At almost 500 pages, this devastating memoir propels readers to the end by implicitly posing one burning question: How did Martha Long survive such unimaginable betrayal, injury, and suffering? The answer is like the fuse burning up and the dynamite going off: Despite the agony, survivors know at the deepest level within their souls that they were born to live out better destinies.”
To read the entire review, by Ethel Rohan, visit the New York Journal of Books.
December 13, 2012
Q. Who are your heroes?
A. My friend Brigid. She left behind the wild beauty of the west of Ireland with it’s desolate land and the roar of the Atlantic ocean. Its fields lay scattered with the ruins of old stone cottages, now long abandoned since the famine. The curse of Connaught never lifted. Few could eke out a living from that land.
With the wind at her back, Brigid, at seventeen, a simple country girl from Mayo, made the long exhausting journey to Dublin. Leaving the poverty of that city behind, she took the night mail boat across the Irish sea. The ship heaved and bucked, stuffed to the gills with immigrants from every part of the country. All hoping to make a better life for themselves, and the little ones still left at home with a mother trying to survive on a ‘Wing And A Prayer’.
Brigid arrived into an England fighting for it’s life.
“Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes”, a “haunting memoir” of 1950s Dublin by Martha Long is on sale now!
December 5, 2012
Counterpunch says “This is a searing account of childhood survival. No more haunting memoir has been published this year.”
Publishers Weekly gives the book a starred review: “Bestselling memoirist Martha Long takes readers to 1950s Dublin, where it is nothing short of a miracle that she survived her childhood. Long chronicles her life from ages three to 11, letting the child she once was ‘tell the story in her own voice:’ a dynamic, colorful Irish dialect. Not for the faint of heart, Long’s story is a gritty, grueling, and heartbreaking testament to one girl’s unbreakable spirit.”
“Reading this startling testament to one child’s valiant attempts to live until the age of sixteen is a worthy reminder that we can do better as adults if we turn to embrace the children who are suffering, anywhere on earth…”—Alice Walker, from the forward
“No more haunting memoir has been published this year” says Counterpunch about Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes
November 19, 2012
Counterpunch gives a rave review of Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes, the first in a six-volume series by Martha Long about her childhood in the slums of 1950s Dublin.
“There are a few moments in this relentlessly bleak story when Martha believes that her life will get better, one brief period when it looks as if Sally has had enough abuse from Jackster that she can live without him, but mostly Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes chronicles one indignity after another: physical and sexual abuse, starvation, freezing from the cold, and—equally bleak—constantly suffering indignities from other children.
More than anything else and in spite of the most overwhelming odds, Martha fights back—not with words or actions but with an ever active mind. This is a searing account of childhood survival. No more haunting memoir has been published this year.”Read the full review by Charles R.