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Eyewear Publishing

People That Don't Exist Are Citizens of A Made Up Country

People That Don't Exist Are Citizens of A Made Up Country

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Essays By Joe Horgan

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People That Don't Exist Are Citizens Of A Made Up Country is an exploration of family emigration in the context of global migration. It seeks to display the increasingly universal reality of displacement as a lived experience. In a sequence of interlinked chapter essays migrant reality is married to one family's history.

Dedication "To my brother, David."

Joe Horgan was born and raised in Birmingham of Irish immigrant parents. He has lived in Ireland since 1999. He is the author of five previous books and his work has been published in Ireland, Europe, the UK, and the USA. His credits include The Patrick Kavanagh Award, an Arts Council Bursary, and a nomination for The Ted Hughes Award. He is a reviewer for Books Ireland and The Irish Examiner. His popular column for The Irish Post has run for over twenty years.


"In this vital new work from Joe Horgan, the Irish emigrant experience is examined against the backdrop of continued global movement of migrants. In these compassionate, multilayered essays, Horgan demolishes stereotypes of 'them’ and ‘us’, provoking the reader to discover their own empathy in the face of ignorance and fear. This is a book that manages that rare feat of proving both edifying and thoroughly enjoyable." - Jessica Traynor

"A daring and heart-felt meditation on diaspora. In this intense reflection on his own mother’s story, Joe Horgan not only reflects on the 1950s wave of Irish migration to England, but the current Mediterranean refugee crisis and offers up the recurring motif of ‘a young woman on the boat’ for the shared experience of migrant displacement everywhere." - Dr Tony Murray, London Metropolitan University

"Joe Horgan considers the heart, soul and borderlands of one of the largest nations on Earth: a nation without a flag, the nation of the refugee, the immigrant and the migrant. He brings them closer to us than any photograph or news story ever can and leaves us not with the question ‘who are they?’ but the deeper, darker question, ‘who are we?’ " - Brian Whelan

"This is Joe Horgan’s fifth book, perhaps simultaneously his most personal and his most universal. Using his own background - Horgan grew up in Birmingham as the child of immigrant Irish parents but has been living in Ireland since 1999 – as a resonant starting point, he embarks on a consideration of the immigrant journey, considering, in prose that is both evocative and economical, the reality of perpetually living between two places, between multiple existences. Ultimately, Horgan’s meditation on displacement, loss, and hope, looks its reader in the eye and asks for empathy instead of sympathy, solidarity instead of pity. A powerful and thought-provoking work that will remain relevant so long as humanity continues to value the idea of home and the right to belong." – Becky Long, The Irish Times

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