City Paper is not for tourists
In 2005, Frank Delaney’s fictionalized 2,000-year history of the country of his birth, Ireland, was a sprawling success. Delaney’s latest foray into Irish historical fiction, Tipperary, spans far fewer years but is no less ambitious. In Tipperary, Delaney blends myth, fact, and fiction into a late-19th-century Irish meta-history. A present-day historian discovers the memoir of Charles O’Brien, born in 1860, who is an Irish healer and folktale collector. A compelling (though admittedly unreliable) narrator, O’Brien tells of meet-and-greets with William Butler Yeats and Oscar Wilde, all the while going to tremendous lengths to win the heart of a young Englishwoman. A revolution interferes with his plans. The modern commentator tries to remain impartial until he discovers that his own history may intertwine with O’Brien’s, and, as Delaney writes, “that in Ireland everything is personal, especially the past.” Delaney discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.