Introducing Dalzell Press, the publishing arm of the Feldstein Agency. Dedicated to ensuring that all of our literary agency’s clients’ works are in print.
Publishing in October 2019
Tugboat Stories Memoir
Publication date: October 22nd, 2019
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Tugboat Stories is a modern day Life on the
Mississippi, with a touch of Moby Dick (in the detailed yet lyrical description of the boats, their work, and the people that work them), exploring one of the core themes of a uniquely American
experience − life on the river − written by one who has lived it in one of the great harbors of the world.
Tugboat Stories is a suite of linked stories based on the author’s career as a seaman and owner/operator of tugboats working in New York Harbor from 1971 to 1998. The work comprises both a portrayal of the socially complex and deeply traditional world of the harbor community and the narrator’s progress within that world from rank beginner to seasoned professional.Within the context of this loose narrative trajectory the author provides a first-hand experience of a unique life − physically demanding, sometimes comic, sometimes crude, often lonely, and, at its core, spiritually compelling.
At the time the author entered the New York harbor scene, the tugboat business was still under the sway of 19th century values and practice. Binding agreements were forged by word of mouth. Skill was assessed within the community at large rather than by governmental process, and individuality − to the point of eccentricity – was easily accepted so long as the over-arching criteria of honesty and skill were met. The harbor was still a place where independence found equal place with self discipline and excellence.In a deeper context still, the Harbor and its people at that time shared an ancestry with the very roots of American literature. The Lower Manhattan shoreline where the narrator’s boat is tied is the same as that trod by Ishmael in the opening paragraphs of Moby Dick, the river in front is the same as in Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”. The looming Brooklyn Bridge and the harbor dawn are the same as beheld by Hart Crane. The narrator walks in the footprints of the creators of “On the Waterfront” and learns many of the same skills and disciplines as did Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi.
George Matteson lives in New York City and on the coast of Maine with his wife, artist Adele Ursone. He worked in and around NY Harbor and the Northeastern US coast and inland waterways from 1971 to 1999, including running his own tugboat, the Spuyten Duyvil, for 13 years. For some of those years, he not only worked, but also lived on the water.
He is the author of Tugboats of New York: An Illustrated History, New York University Press, 2005 and Draggermen: Fishing on George’s Bank, Scholastic/Four Winds Press, 1979, and the co-author of The Christmas Tugboat, a children’s book, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, 2012. He is also an accomplished poet, with an anthology, That Miraculous Land & Other Poems, East River Press, 1982. He curated an exhibition, As Tugs Go By: A History of the Towing Industry in New York Harbor, at the John Noble Maritime Collection, Sailors’ Snug Harbor, in Staten Island, New York in March, 2008
Published in November 2018
Are You The F**king Doctor? Medicine/Memoir/Humour
Tales from the bleeding edge of medicine
by Dr Liam Farrell
Publication date: 13 November 2018
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‘A unique voice that combines insight, humour, and an often
surreal style.’ Richard Smith, BMJ editor-in-chief 1991-2004
‘Razor sharp wit and allure. His personal account of his addiction
is one of the most compelling I have ever read.’
Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist
‘General practice is the great unknown. We stand on the cusp of the beyond.
Science takes us only so far, then the maps stop in the grey areas of intuition,
imagination and feelings: here be dragons. Lurching from heart-breaking tragedy
to high farce, we are the Renaissance men and women of medicine; our art is
intangible. Anything can walk through our door…’
Family doctor, Irishman, musician, award-winning author, anarchist and
recovering morphine addict, Liam Farrell became a columnist for the BMJ in 1994.
He went on to write for many major publications, winning a series of prestigious
awards; in 2005, he was the first doctor to win Columnist of the Year in the
Periodical Publishers Association awards.
The book contains a selection of Liam’s best work, from his columns, blogs and short stories.
Brilliantly funny, glittering with literary allusion and darkly wicked humour, this book is much more than a collection of stand-alone anecdotes and whimsical reflections, rather a compelling chronicle of the daily struggles – and personal costs – of a doctor at the coalface.
Published in October 2018
The Glass Door Literary Fiction
by R.M. Clarke
Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
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‘This is a committed and compassionate work which I read in one sitting-it introduces a fresh new voice and I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending it to readers.I enjoyed it very much.' Patrick McCabe
The Glass Door is the debut novel of author R.M. Clarke, editor of and contributor to the Dublin UNESCO supported The Broken Spiral anthology in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (2017). Her debut novel, which took seven years to be published, despite winning awards and agent interest, is the story of Rosie, omniscient foetus and solitary child, who recounts her childhood memories under the hypnosis of Dr. Waters, trying to figure out why things have gone so wrong - and how to piece the broken parts of her back together. It is a haunting investigation into the deep, complex and often frightening labyrinth of the human mind, where three generations of Irish women learn to tread the difficult path of reconciling individual identity with social approval. A novel about absence and longing, and a small and fractured family trying to figure things, and each other, out, The Glass Door won the Discovery Award at the Dalkey Book Festival and The Irish Writers Centre Greenbean Novel Fair 2016.
A haunting investigation into the complex labyrinth of a child's mind
Then the leaves whispered, the branches creaked. Something was up above, watching.
She could feel eyes upon her. She knew she was not alone anymore: 'Who’s there?'
Then a voice came back to her: 'You found me. After all this time.'
Set in the 1970s and 80s between the east coast of Ireland and London, Rosie’s story unfolds as she and her mother Sandra chase her reluctant father across the sea, where he slips through their grasp and disappears, leaving emptiness in Rosie’s hand where a work-roughened palm should be. Mother and daughter are forced by failure and poverty to return home to the bitter embrace of Rosie’s grandmother, Marie, whose love for her daughter and granddaughter is poisoned by her desire for social acceptance. But the strange child Rosie grows increasingly stranger, especially at night, when her unpredictable behaviour becomes both frightening and dangerous. Sandra, coming under growing pressure, both from Marie and the society she lives in, must find a new man to take Rosie’s father’s place. But once she does things only get worse for her and Rosie. After years spent enduring an increasingly disturbed home life, everything comes to a deadly climax.
The Latch to the Garden Poetry
Poetry from Edmond Sheehy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
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The first poetry collection from native New York City poet Edmond Sheehy.
Published in July 2018
The Sugar Sugar Cafe Literary Fiction
by Michael Sheehan
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
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In a series of interlinking episodes and intertwining stories, this book looks at the lives, lived out in quiet (or not so quiet) desperation, of a cast of ‘ordinary’ individuals in a small town on the outskirts of Cork city in Ireland in the dark days after the 2008 financial crash. The action centres on The Sugar Sugar Café – a small, ‘greasy spoon’ café in Rathluirc – but encompasses other locations as far flung as Manila and New York city, as the story shifts between past and present, between comedy and tragedy, between fantasy and grim reality.
A bleak yet compelling narrative, told through the alternating perspectives of each of the key characters, hammers home the extent to which, for so many people, daily life is mostly taken up with a gruelling struggle to simply get by, and isolation and frustration are an inevitable part of the everyday routine. This sense of hopelessness is alleviated, however, by many moments of dark humour – and above all, by the rich and often surprising inner lives of these individuals, into which we as readers are given a privileged glimpse.
Dark and yet funny, tragic and yet comic, the ‘nasty, brutish and short’ lives depicted in this compelling novel are rescued from despair by the deep humanity and compassion of the writer who has conceived them.
The Confession of Peadar Gibbons Literary Fiction
By Declan Varley
Publication Date 3 July 2018
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Lorna Cuddy was used to getting feature story suggestions from her dad back home. Most centred on five-legged donkeys or the dangers of fairy forts. However, none fascinated the Pulitzer-winning, Irish-born writer, as much as this one. This time, he was part of the story. And so was she.
Her dad’s childhood friend Peadar Gibbons, had, on his fiftieth birthday, walked into his local Garda police station in a west of Ireland town, saying he had some things to get off his chest. But Peadar was deemed 'harmless’, a man who had lived on the fringes of society; extra-average. Just another solitary life in a small town.
It was a Sunday evening. A quiet one. And tea-time in the police station. Not a time for big confessions. So the officer sent him home with the advice to ‘write it all down.’ After all, Peadar liked writing short stories, and had penned ‘posh poems that didn't rhyme’.
Taking down his Remington typewriter and punching out fifty chapters of a life less ordinary, Peadar would later present the Gardai with what they described as the ‘most elaborate document of admission the force had ever receive.’ Written with a frankness befitting a man who wanted to be unburdened; to be noticed though not stared at; to be talked of, not talked about.
Struggling to find his way in a changing Ireland; not good enough to deserve a decent chance at home. Not confident enough to try his luck overseas. Stuck in a life of horror, incidents, and consequences.
Left with nothing but his confession.
Published in June 2018
Then The Walls Came Down by Danny Morrison
Danny Morrison's Classic Prison Diary
“Remarkable as a human document... The flashes of humour and compassion bear comparison with those in Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy. A must-read for anyone interested in the North - Irish Times
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Danny Morrison came to prominence as an activist in the Republican Movement in the 1970s before he became a recognised writer. He was imprisoned several times and twice charged with IRA membership. In 1981 he acted as spokesperson for the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and later coined the phrase ‘The Armalite and the Ballot Box’ to describe the republican strategy of waging armed struggle and engaging in electoral politics. He was Sinn Féin’s National Director of Publicity for eleven years and edited the party’s newspaper, An Phoblacht. He was also elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly. He escaped several attempts on his life by the British Army and loyalist paramilitaries.
Morrison was, in his own words, a ‘reluctant’ but enthusiastic activist, and had always wanted to be a writer. In 1990 he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder, kidnapping and IRA membership.
From prison, in a series of letters, mostly to his partner but also to friends and comrades, Morrison began to reflect on his own life, and the stalemate and impasse in the northern Irish conflict. He also began to develop his own ideas about writing and the creative process. His prison writings have been compared to those of Brendan Behan and his descriptions of the experience of imprisonment on himself, his comrades and their families are candid, sometimes deeply personal, and often very humorous.
Then The Walls Came Down will not only be of interest to students of politics, history, current affairs and media studies, but will also appeal to the general reader in its study of human nature and character.