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05:19 pm: March 7 Daley and Halligan
Local History/ Local Novelists Series
Presents an Evening Inspired by
Dominic Daley and James Halligan
Wednesday, March 7, 2011 at 7 pm
Coolidge Museum
at Forbes Library


In 1806, Dominic Daley and James Halligan were accused of murder and were tried in Northampton. The two were found guilty and hung before a crowd estimated at 15,000. Both men were Irish immigrants of Roman Catholic faith during a time when discrimination by a predominantly Protestant culture prevailed. The evening will explore this historical event through the voices of a novelist, a poet and a composer.


Michael White is the author of six novels, including The Garden of Martyrs, which is based on the Daley and Halligan incident. His latest novel, Beautiful Assassin, won the 2011 Connecticut Book Award for Fiction. He has also published over 50 short stories in national magazines and journals, and has won the Advocate Newspapers Fiction Award. He was the founding editor of the yearly fiction anthology American Fiction, as well as the magazine Dogwood. He is the founder and director of Fairfield University's low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program and Professor of English at Fairfield.

Eric Sawyer has written an opera based on Michael White’s novel, The Garden of Martyrs, with libretto by Harley Erdman of the UMass faculty. It is in workshop with a full premiere expected in 2013. His opera Our American Cousin recently received its stage premiere from Boston Modern Orchestra Project and was released on the BMOP/sound label. Mr. Sawyer has received the Joseph Bearns Prize, awards from the Tanglewood Music Center and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a recent prize from the Ravinia Festival for his piano trio Lincoln’s Two Americas. He is on the music faculty at Amherst College.

James Francis Cahillane is a native of Northampton and a Korean-era Air Force veteran. Jim sold cars and managed at his family’s former dealership for five decades. A 1992 business sabbatical led to graduate school and a new writing career. His books include The Best Place of All: An Irish-American Memoir of Pluck, Luck and Automobiles and On History’s Front Steps: One Irish Clan’s Exploits in Northampton, Massachusetts, “The Paradise of America.”

Books will be for sale by Broadside Bookshop.

Part of the Local History/Local Novelists Series curated by Forbes Writer in Residence Susan Stinson. For more information, visit www.forbeslibrary.org or call 413-587-1017. All events are free and open to all.

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