Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes: A Memoir of Dublin in the 1950s

Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes: A Memoir of Dublin in the 1950s

Martha Long


"Not for the faint of middle, Long's tale is a gritty, grueling, and heartbreaking testomony to at least one girl's unbreakable spirit."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

When Martha Long's feckless mom hooks up with the Jackser ("that bandy aul bastard"), and begins having more infants, the abuse and poverty in the home develop extra acute. Martha is often despatched out to beg and more frequently thieve, and her wiles (as a baby of seven, eight) are frequently the one factor retaining meals at the desk. Jackser is a grasp of paranoid anger and outburst, holding the youngsters in an unheated tenement, not able to head to school, on the prepared for his unpredictable rages. Then Martha is distributed by way of Jackser to a guy he is familiar with in exchange for the cost of a couple of cigarettes. She is 9. She is filthy, lice-ridden, outcast. Martha and Ma escape to England, yet for an itinerant Irishwoman discovering paintings in overdue Nineteen Fifties England is a close to impossibility. Martha treasures the time on my own together with her mom, yet amazingly Ma pines for Jackser and so they eventually return to Dublin and the opposite young children. And but there are prized comic strip magazines, the occasional hidden penny to shop for the youngsters chocolates, the glimpse of loving relations existence in different homes, and Martha's desire that she will quickly be sufficiently old to make her personal way.

Virtually uneducated, Martha lengthy is natural-born storyteller. Written within the vernacular of the day, the reader is tempted to talk like Martha for the remainder of an afternoon (and do not allow me listen yer girl roarin' bout it neither). One can not help yet cheer in this mischievous, quick-witted, and protracted little lady who has captured hearts across Europe.

Show sample text content

Download sample