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Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times

Very moving stories…

Seán Rocks, ARENA

A sense of futility pervades the collection

Anne Sexton, Hot Press

This book will call you to attention…

Valerie O’Riordan, Bookmunch

Finely written and astutely observed …

Dermot Bolger

Stylish and tender… She is a writer to reckon with…

Sue Leonard, Books Ireland

Beautifully written and topical…

Nuala O’Connor, Irish Times

FERENJI – stories from the field

Publisher: 451 Editions  /  Publication date: 12 December 2022

ISBN 978-1-9162975-8-6, 166pp,  Retail: €14.95

Ferenji and other stories by Helena Mulkerns is a themed short fiction collection set among civilians in conflict and post-conflict zones. Inspiration comes partly from the author’s personal experience and research completed while working in Central America, Africa and Afghanistan. The story Dogs was shortlisted for the 2017 Bórd Gais Irish Book Awards. She has also been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards, America’s Pushcart Prize and Ireland’s Francis MacManus Short Story Award. She received a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to work on FERENJI.

The book’s media coverage included an IRISH TIMES review, a HOT PRESS interview, an ARENA interview, and a column in THE SUNDAY TIMES.   Reprisal, one of the book’s short stories, has been published on the IRISH TIMES 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 BOOKS IRELAND has described the book as “a quite wonderful collection.”

Ferenji depicts life in the field 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 the UN and has edited two literary anthologies, including Red Lamp Black Piano and Turbulence – Corrib Voices.  She is currently working on a novel set during the pandemic.

Available to order from any bookshop internationally.
Irish readers should reference UK distributors, Gardners – who will despatch the book within 10 days.
Readers can also buy directly online from most major international book retailers, including:

 Waterstones, IrelandBarnes & Noble, USA Schweitzer, Germany / Booktopia, Australia

Watch book trailer

Contact Helena