Mary Pat will be presenting in the Lit Salon, room 111,
3:30 - Mary Pat Kelly - “Derry Girls” and Beyond: A City Reborn. Mary Pat spent the Summer in Derry working on her book about how Ireland has been transformed during the last 50 years. It combines memoir with interviews with some of the key figures, many of them women, who have a changed their country utterly. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Derry. “When I first started coming in 1984 it was a city under siege, with one restaurant that closed at 6 pm and, as the Phil Coulter song goes, “bombed out bars and armored cars.” I was there to do a documentary for WTTW about John Hume, the SDLP and the struggle for nonviolent change.
After 50 years and 300 trips to Ireland I look at the way Irish women found their voice elected two female presidents and changed oppressive laws all without experiencing the kind of divisions we’re seeing in our country now. I’ve been inspired by my own Irish Foremothers including those of my mothers family the Foley’s who came to the US much earlier than the Kelly‘s and were instrumental in developing upstate New York, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Mary Pat Kelly is the author of Of Irish Blood, as well as the bestselling novel Galway Bay and Special Intentions. She has worked as a screenwriter for Paramount and Columbia Pictures, and as an associate producer with Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live. A graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, she received her Ph.D. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Born and raised in Chicago, she lives on New York's Upper West Side with her husband app developer Martin Sheerin from County Tyrone, Ireland.