Joseph O’Connor Books In Order

Irish Male trilogy Books In Order

  1. The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994)
  2. The Irish Male at Home and Abroad (1996)
  3. The Last of the Irish Males (2001)
  4. The Irish Male: His Greatest Hits (2009)
  5. The Shorter Irish Male (2011)


  1. Cowboys and Indians (1991)
  2. Desperadoes (1994)
  3. The Salesman (1998)
  4. Inishowen (2000)
  5. Yeats is Dead! (2001)
  6. The Star of the Sea (2002)
  7. Redemption Falls (2007)
  8. Ghost Light (2010)
  9. The Thrill of it All (2014)
  10. Shadowplay (2019)


  1. True Believers (1991)
  2. Red Roses and Petrol (1995)
  3. Where Have You Been? (2012)

Anthologies edited

  1. New Irish Short Stories (2011)

Non fiction

  1. Even the Olives Are Bleeding (1992)
  2. Sweet Liberty (1996)

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Joseph O’Connor Books Overview

The Secret World of the Irish Male

In this portrait of contemporary Irish life, Joseph O’Connor reads his own humorous writings.

The Salesman

This ‘gripping and moving’ novel, as The Guardian has noted, offers ‘a taut, expertly crafted plot’ while it likewise ‘captures brilliantly changes of mood and unexpected quirks of behavior.’ As The Salesman opens, it is the hottest summer in Dublin’s history, and Billy Sweeney has more than the weather on his mind. His daughter lies in a coma in the hospital, the result of a mysterious attack at the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that terrible night, frustrated by officialdom, and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands, but when his plans go spectacularly wrong, the results are terrifying, often hilarious, and in the end, unforgettable.

Yeats is Dead!

Roddy Doyle, Conor McPherson, Gene Kerrigan, Gina Moxley, Marian Keyes, Anthony Cronin, Owen O Neill, Hugo Hamilton, Joseph O Connor, Tom Humphries, Pauline McLynn, Charlie O Neill, Donal O Kelly, Gerard Stembridge, and Frank McCourtFifteen of Ireland’s brightest and most entertaining authors came together to benefit Amnesty International resulting in this raucous, raunchy, and diabolically entertaining mulligan stew of a novel. Yeats is Dead! is an elaborate mystery centered around the search for something more valuable and precious than anything else in Ireland an unpublished manuscript by James Joyce. A madcap chase ensues, spiced with the shenanigans of a spectacular array of characters: a sad*istic sergeant with the unlikely name of Andy Andrews; a urinal paddy salesman; and the unforgettable Mrs. Bloom, a woman who had tried everything but drew the line at honesty. Gratuitously violent and completely hilarious, Yeats is Dead! is an out of control tale of lust and literature that packs big laughs and an even bigger body count.

The Star of the Sea

In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by famine and injustice, The Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many more are desperate. Among them are a maid with a devastating secret, the bankrupt Lord Merridith and his wife and children, and a killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. This journey will see many lives end, others begin anew. Passionate loves are tenderly recalled, shirked responsibilities regretted too late, and profound relationships are shockingly discovered. In this spellbinding tale of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the farther the ship sails toward the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past that will never let them go. As urgently contemporary as it is historical, this gripping and compassionate novel builds with the pace of a thriller to a stunning conclusion. 20030225

Redemption Falls

1865. The Civil War is ending. Eighteen years after the Irish famine ship Star of the Sea docked at New York, a daughter of its journey, Eliza Duane Mooney, sets out on foot from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, crossing a ravaged continent on a quest. Eliza is searching for a young boy she has not seen in four years, one of the hundred thousand children drawn into the war. His fate has been mysterious and will prove extraordinary.

It is a walk that will have consequences for many seemingly unconnected survivors: the stunning intellectual Lucia Cruz McLelland, who deserts New York City to cast her fate with mercurial hero James Con O’Keeffe convict, revolutionary, governor of the desolate Western township of Redemption Falls; rebel guerilla Cole McLaurenson, who fuels his own gruesome Westward mission with the blind rage of an outlaw; runaway slave Elizabeth Longstreet, who turns resentment into grace in a Western wilderness where nothing is as it seems.

O’Keeffe’s career has seen astonishing highs and lows. Condemned to death in 1848 for plotting an insurrection against British rule in Ireland, his sentence was commuted to life transportation to Van Diemen’s Land, Tasmania. From there he escaped, abandoning a woman he loved, and was shipwrecked in the Pacific before making his way to the teeming city of New York. A spellbinding orator, he has been hailed a hero by Irish New Yorkers, refugees from the famine that has ravaged their homeland. His public appearances are thronged to the rafters and his story has brought him fame. He has married the daughter of a wealthy Manhattan family, but their marriage is haunted by a past full of secrets. The terrors of Civil War have shaken his every belief. Now alone in the west, he yearns for new beginnings.

Redemption Falls is a Dickensian tale of war and forgiveness, of strangers in a strange land, of love put to the ultimate test. Packed with music, balladry, poetry, and storytelling, this is ‘a vivid mosaic of a vast country driven wild by war’ Irish Independent, containing ‘moments of sustained brilliance which in psychological truth and realism make Daniel Defoe look like a literary amateur’ Sunday Tribune. With this riveting historical novel of urgent contemporary resonance, the author of the bestselling Star of the Sea now brings us a modern masterpiece.

Ghost Light

1907 Edwardian Dublin, a city of whispers and rumors. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with the talented John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that Synge, the author of The Playboy of the Western World and The Tinker’s Wedding, will meet an actress still in her teens named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly is a girl of the inner city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. Witty and watchful, she has dozens of admirers, but it is the damaged older playwright who is her secret passion despite the barriers of age, class, education, and religion. Synge is a troubled, reticent genius, the son of a once prosperous landowning family, a poet of fiery language and tempestuous passions. Yet his life is hampered by conventions and by the austere and God fearing mother with whom he lives. Scarred by a childhood of immense loneliness and severity, he has long been ill, but he loves to walk the wild places of Ireland. The affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is turbulent, sometimes cruel, and often tender. 1950s postwar London, an old woman walks across the city in the wake of a hurricane. As she wanders past bomb sites and through the forlorn beauty of wrecked terraces and wintry parks, her mind drifts in and out of the present as she remembers her life s great love, her once dazzling career, and her travels in America. Vivid and beautifully written, Molly s swirling, fractured narrative moves from Dublin to London via New York with luminous language and raw feeling. Ghost Light is a story of great sadness and joy a tour de force from the widely acclaimed and bestselling author of Star of the Sea.

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