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Alen MacWeeney: Irish Travellers: Tinkers No More Paperback – July 1, 2011


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Alen MacWeeney: Irish Travellers: Tinkers No More + Nan: The Life of an Irish Travelling Woman
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Andrew Ward Fine Art Photographs; 2 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615415024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615415024
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 9.4 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. From 1965 to 1970, the Travellers of Ireland, a people thought to be "descendents of a mixture of nomadic craftsmen and those who had literally taken to the roads... for a variety of reasons," welcomed Dublin-born photographer MacWeeny (Spaces for Silence) to their campsites outside his hometown. His quest to publish the photos, stories and music he took with him is at last realized in this spare but lovely book, a stirring cultural miscellany from a community that remains invisible to many-in both the general public and the historic record ("like so many marginalised people"). As MacWeeney notes, "Theirs was a bigger life than mine, with its daily struggle for survival"; in page after page of beautiful black and white photos, that struggle is captured in the Travellers' faces, by turns despairing, hopeful, joyous and solemn, but also belied in scenes of celebration, laughter and music-making. MacWeeney sees in these portraits "a dignity, a raw beauty, a deep uncertainty and perhaps a stripped-down Irishness," a sentiment deepened by the lyricism and sly humor of songs ("The Old Hag's Death") and stories ("The Grey-Headed Norrisey's Skull") transcribed throughout, and also captured on an enclosed CD. If there's a fault to find, it's in the volume's brevity; like the Travellers themselves, it's gone before you're ready to stop looking and learning. B&W Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"[A spare but lovely book, a stirring cultural miscellany from a community that remains invisible to many-in both the general public and the historic record."--Publishers' Weekly

"Though Travellers are known as a closed and clannish bunch, MacWeeney had no trouble making friends in Cherry Orchard and the other camps he went on to visit. The Travellers found it endlessly amusing to listen to the recordings he made of their singing, since most had never heard themselves before. They appreciated the rapt attention he paid to the folk tales they told him, and they treasured the portraits he gave them, sometimes fashioning foil frames for them out of chocolate wrappers. 'He'd sit down with us all, light the fire, like one of our own . . . He had time for you like,' says Kitty Flynn, a Traveller woman MacWeeney befriended." --Smithsonian

"[A spare but lovely book, a stirring cultural miscellany from a community that remains invisible to many-in both the general public and the historic record ("like so many marginalised people"). As MacWeeney notes, "Theirs was a bigger life than mine, with its daily struggle for survival"; in page after page of beautiful black and white photos, that struggle is captured in the Travellers' faces, by turns despairing, hopeful, joyous and solemn, but also belied in scenes of celebration, laughter and music-making. If there's a fault to find, it's in the volume's brevity; like the Travellers themselves, it's gone before you're ready to stop looking and learning."--Publishers' Weekly (Starred Review) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
What a brilliant work!
Fionn Olochlainn
A striking breadth of work that allows the viewer to see, hear, and feel the difficulty of life in concert with the beauty and light.
H. Hammond
With historically accurate information and a true passion for the people herein, this photographic collection is inspiring.
Sarah Beth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Weller on October 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A very important body of photographs -- both artistic and historic -- framed by a text of the Travelling people's stories and a compact disc of the people in the book performing their music, over forty years ago. A testament to a great photographer's determination that brings to life a part of Ireland's immemorial past which has vanished in our lifetimes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fionn Olochlainn on January 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This work is truly profound. His composition is genius. The subject matter is an important cultural statement. Alen is without doubt a master photographer. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The reproduction is perfect. A hidden gem is the beautiful audio cd that captures the the music of these people. What a brilliant work!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Beth on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
MacWeeney's Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More is absolutely stunning. With historically accurate information and a true passion for the people herein, this photographic collection is inspiring. MacWeeney has outdone himself. The photography is brilliant and the printing top-notch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brooks on May 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Extraordinary photos of a subculture in Ireland, called both "tinkers" and "travelers". My sister worked with them in the 1960s. The book does them justice...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Atkins on May 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tinkers were quite similar to gypsies in other parts of the world. However, modernization has nearly destroyed their existence. This wonderful book, with stunning photography, captured the Tinkers as they were in the 1960's on the brink of a radically changing Ireland. It documents a lost way of life. Included is a CD recorded on crude but ample equipment in the 1960's further documents Irish music as the Tinkers performed it live in pubs, on streets and in outdoor camps. The CD alone is worth the purchase.
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