Irish-American Author Christopher Conway to discuss his new book May 9

Christopher Conway
Christopher Conway

April 25, 2013 - Christopher Conway, an Irish-American author, will discuss and sign his new book "The Road to God Knows Where," from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, 3011 Whitney Ave. This event, sponsored by Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services, is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Please RSVP by calling 203-582-6500.

For American Jimmy Dwyer, a character in "The Road to God Knows Where," the mission to spread his recently-deceased father's ashes off the majestic Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland sets in motion a journey of reflection. He travels far north to the town of Killybegs, his family's ancestral home, in search of his estranged older brother, Jack, in hopes of bringing him home to be with their ailing mother. Jimmy's trip up the foreboding coast forces him to reflect on the bittersweet memories of his childhood family vacations to Ireland. With doubts of the future of his family, Jimmy looks to the shadows of the past for answers.

"The Road to God Knows Where,' is in many ways my love letter to Ireland," Conway said. "My goal was to write a novel that captured the essences of the Irish-American experience in Ireland. I wanted to tell a story that focused on the people and the culture of Ireland without dealing with the typical themes of Irish stories such as The Famine, The Troubles - alcoholism or abuse. The importance of family is at the heart of my novel."

A wine and cheese reception will follow Conway's lecture and book signing.

Born in New York City, Conway is a graduate of Sacred Heart University and has done graduate studies at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts and Trinity College, Dublin. He has written articles and published photographs in numerous publications. He lives in Southington with his wife Colleen and son Desmond. "The Road to God Knows Where" is his first novel.

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum is home to the world's largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine. The museum preserves, builds and presents its art collection in order to stimulate reflection, inspire imagination and advance awareness of Ireland's Great Hunger and its long aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic.

The collection focuses on the famine years from 1845-52, when blight destroyed virtually all of Ireland's potato crops for consecutive years. The crop destruction, coupled with British governmental indifference to the plight of the Irish, who at the time were part of the United Kingdom, resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million Irish men, women and children and the emigration of more than 2 million to nations around the world. This tragedy occurred even though there was more than adequate food in the country to feed its starving populace. Exports of food and livestock from Ireland actually increased during the years of the Great Hunger.

Works by noted contemporary Irish artists are featured at the museum including internationally known sculptors John Behan, Rowan Gillespie and Eamonn O'Doherty; as well as contemporary visual artists, Robert Ballagh, Alanna O'Kelly Brian Maguire and Hughie O'Donoghue. Featured paintings include several important 19th and 20th‐century works by artists such as James Brenan, Daniel MacDonald, James Arthur O'Connor and Jack B. Yeats.

The museum is open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays 1-5 p.m.