‘Ferenji’ Press Release


by Helena Mulkerns


Publisher: Doire Press

Publication date: 01 November 2016

ISBN: 978-1-907682-48-3    Retail: €12.95


Smart, nuanced, provocative… Colum McCann
An engaging and highly readable collection… Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times
Finely written and astutely observed… Dermot Bolger
Very moving stories… Seán Rocks, ARENA
An international voice that resonates with a deep empathy… Emer Martin

Mulkerns is a skilled writer… Olaf Tyaransen, Hot Press
Powerful and evocative… Martin Doyle, Irish Times
Daring, complex, original… Eamonn Wall, poet
Beautifully written and topical…  Nuala O’Connor
A quite wonderful collection of linked stories…  Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

Ferenji and other stories by Helena Mulkerns, from Doire Press, is a themed short fiction collection set among civilians in conflict and post-conflict zones. From ancient Arabic, the term Ferenji means ‘foreigners’ and exists today in countries from Ethiopia to Vietnam. The author herself is a former journalist and UN veteran, who spent ten years ‘in the field’ as a press officer and photographer in Central America, Africa and Asia.

Publicity for the book’s release is handled by Cormac Kinsella and so far has included a glowing IRISH TIMES review, a HOT PRESS interview, an ARENA interview, and a HOT PRESS book reviewReprisal, one of the book’s short stories, has been published on the IRISH TIMES.com website. In the “Best Books of 2016” feature, author Nuala O’Connor (“Miss Emily”) cited Ferenji as one of her favourite books.  In THE IRISH INDEPENDENT “Writers Favourite Books of 2016” feature, Dermot Bolger also named “Ferenji” as one of his favourites.  Sue Leonard in the IRISH EXAMINER has described the book as “a quite wonderful collection.”  Elsewhere, Helena has written a column in THE SUNDAY TIMES and several other media features and reviews are forthcoming. See the Ferenji BOOK TRAILER here.

Ferenji depicts life in the field — warts and all — with pathos, dark field humour and satire, lending a passionate civilian voice to the new genre of contemporary post-conflict literature.

In ‘A Child Called Peace’, two young Irish peacekeepers find a child dying in a minefield. In ‘Blood and Bone’ a war photographer is haunted by the image of a refugee. “Dogs” explores how sexism can go beyond culture and borders. The title story, ‘Ferenji’ pits a lone aid worker against a bureaucratic system and ‘Operation Cat Lift’ is an allegory for our times.

The author was a music and arts journalist in Paris and New York before working for UN and has edited two literary anthologies, including Red Lamp Black Piano. Her work has been shortlisted for The Pushcart Prize, Hennessy New Irish Writing and The Francis MacManus Short Story Competition. She received a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to complete Ferenji. She is also an experienced speaker and performer, available for events and interviews.

Doire Press is an award-winning literary publishing house located in Connemara, Co Galway. Ferenji and other stories will be available in bookshops around Ireland, and from Doire Press.

For press and readings contact: Cormac Kinsella on 01-634-9924 or ckinsella@repforce.ie

Author’s website: www.helenamul.com