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Synopsis

A wanderer arrives by chance on Inishbream, a rocky dot in the sea just off the west coast of Ireland. A lover of boats and a strong worker, she soon marries the young owner of her stone cottage. For a time, she does her woman’s work, fishes with her husband, and walks along the shore, imagining Saint Brendan and the invisible world so real to the islanders. Through the winter, she repays Inishbream storytellers with tales of coastal British Columbia, not so very different, after all, from their own. In the spring, the islanders learn that their isolation will end: the government has promised them modern houses on the mainland. The wanderer cannot wait for the migration; she must leave Inishbream and go home alone. In the islanders’ soft dialect and the wanderer’s own tongue, Inishbream conjures relationships between the newcomer and her husband, between the island people, the sea, and the land, and between the coastal landscapes of reality and imagination. In the uneasy peace of partial acceptance, the foreigner grows, changes, and starts to envision her own place in the world. Inishbream is also available in a hand-printed and hand-bound limited edition from Barbarian Press. That Inishbream was chosen for this exclusive private edition attests to the clarity of Theresa Kishkan’s storytelling and the beauty of her writing.

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