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Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More Hardcover – July 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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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.
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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)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: New England College (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979013003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979013003
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,600,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love the book, it's everything the reviews said it would be. Gorgeous, poignant photos reminiscent of iconic photos from the American Dust Bowl - "Migrant Mother" comes to mind immediately. However, no cd came with my book and it didn't occur to me that it was missing until I had already taken off the wrapping and read half the book! So I'm not sure how to rate the item - the book is well worth 5-stars but the missing cd won't let me rate it that high - so I gave it a 3.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always been interested in the lives of these people generally referred to as Tinkers or Travellers .. wondering how they cope with the difficulties of their chosen life on the open road. This book has insightful prose and even more insightful photographs which,joined together,are very informative and enlightening.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My most coveted book and music CD, a recording from almost 50 years ago (hard cover edition). I first came across the beautiful photography of Alen MacWeeney at The Irish Arts Center in New York while I was at a Paul Brady show. I was blown away by the work and immediately ordered the book of these very same photos on Amazon. Alen is in my top 5 favorite photographers, a true master. When I take the book down to show friends, I delight in seeing their reaction.
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