Many people in New Zealand have Irish and Scottish heritage, and in Southern Celts, author Celine Kearney has interviewed a host of New Zealanders about their Celtic connections.
It makes for a fascinating read as people discuss a wide range of issues, including speaking and teaching Scottish and Irish Gaelic, playing music and singing, writing poetry and fiction, and things like running businesses, playing sports, spirituality and religion.
These personal narratives make for a genuinely interesting read, and the people interviewed include people like Michael Fraser Milne, the owner of Whisky Galore, Erin Hogan who runs The Scottish Shop in Dunedin, Evey McAuliffe an Irish singer, Carol Atkinson, a fiction writer and John Hunt, a Presbyterian minister.
Southern Celts is a rich book, bursting with a variety of different voices, and for anyone with Scottish or Irish ancestry, this will be a particularly rewarding read, but it’s also of interest to anyone interested in other’s stories.
The narrators also reflect on the passage of time, which brings constant change, and the interviews cross hemispheres and different geographic and cultural communities. Celine Kearney has done a superb job creating this book.
Reviewer: Iain McKenzie
Mary Egan Publishing, RRP $40.00