On Charlotte’s Shoulders, by Julie Monahan

Acorn Independent Press
Memoir/Irish non-fiction
07 October 2013

A memoir of a tough Irish childhood and a mother’s love

In a dank Dublin tenement in 1942, Julie meets a stranger – her father. Like her severely ill sisters, her father is on the periphery of her early family life, whereas her ma is her bedrock – a feisty hard-working woman who single-handedly struggles to put food on the table and shoes on the feet of her large family, and does not suffer fools gladly.

Young Julie plays happily in the street with her siblings and cousins, dreaming of being a singer, unaware of many of her ma’s daily battles and ignorant of a better life, but as she grows into a young woman and sees her family go through poverty, illness and heart-breaking troubles, she understands the extent of her ma’s bravery.

On Charlotte’s Shoulders is a touching family portrait of the challenges of Irish family life in the 40s and 50s.

About Julie Monahan

Julie Monahan is the eighth child in a family of ten, and was born into an impoverished family in a tenement in north Dublin. Her father was a heavy drinker and three of her sisters were severely disabled. Her mother worked hard to keep the family together.

Her older able-bodied brothers and sisters left Dublin to seek work in the UK. Julie followed suit at the age of 20, and was recruited as a waitress by one of the Corner Houses in the Strand. Although she had always loved writing, it was not until her daughter was born that she enrolled in night school to gain O-levels and A-levels. She then studied sociology at UCL and joined a life-writing class at City Lit. She is currently working on a second volume of her memoirs and also novel.

Media Relations Campaign

Acorn Independent Press contacted me to promote On Charlotte’s Shoulders with a campaign targetting the Irish media and literary press. Coverage secured online and in print includes Writing.ie, FemaleFirst, The Irish Post, and The Omnivore.


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