'The Bad Times: An Drochshaol' will be available in December 2015

Cover image Bad Times

About the book:
"The Bad Times: An Drochshaol"
 is a story of pain and suffering, but also of love. Brigit, Daniel and Liam are three teenagers from County Clare in the west of Ireland who live through the horrors of the Great Hunger, also known as the bad times. Their friendship keeps them strong as they each make tough decisions to survive. Their story is movingly told in this new graphic novel by historian Christine Kinealy and graphic novelist John Walsh. 

Watch a short video about the making of the book.

The Authors:
Professor Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, is the author of many books on the Famine, including "This Great Calamity," "The Great Famine in Ireland, 1845-52," "Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland" and "The Kindness of Strangers." She and her children, Siobhán and Ciarán, now live in the United States.

John A. Walsh is an illustrator and graphic novelist and the creator of "GO HOME PADDY," a graphic novel that is being serialized online. John lives in Boston with his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Fiona Maeve.   

"The Bad Times" is being published by Quinnipiac Press in 2015 in collaboration with Ireland's Great Hunger Institute. In educating people of all ages and backgrounds about the Great Hunger, the institute also supports the mission of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University.

What is a Graphic Novel?
It's a story told through the combination of sequential visual art and text. Graphic novels are now widely regarded as mainstream literature for children and young adults. They also can be a valuable resource for supporting learning in the classroom. 

What is the Great Hunger? 
The Great Hunger (or An Gorta Mór) refers to a tragic period in Irish history when more than one million people died of famine or famine-related diseases. Many Irish speakers simply referred to this calamity as "an droch-shaol," which roughly translates as "the bad times."

The immediate cause of the tragedy was a new strain of potato blight that first appeared in Europe during the harvest of 1845. Its arrival in Ireland was greeted with alarm as the potato was the subsistence crop of a majority of the Irish population. Prompt intervention by the British government (who had governed Ireland from the Westminster parliament in London since 1801) and by local Irish elites, meant that nobody died in the first year of shortages. However, the unthinkable happened, and the potato blight returned for a second time in 1846, both earlier and more lethal than in the previous year. And, even more disastrously, the blight returned, in varying degrees, for a further five years. Famine had arrived in Ireland.

Inappropriate and inadequate relief policies by the British government contributed to the suffering of the Irish poor, and the consequences were mass mortality and mass emigration. To this day, Ireland has not recovered from this catastrophe. 

About the Institute:
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute is a scholarly resource for the study of the Great Hunger. Through a strategic program of lectures, conferences, course offerings and publications, the institute fosters a deeper understanding of this tragedy and its causes and consequences. To encourage original scholarship and meaningful engagement, the institute develops and makes available the Great Hunger Collection, a unique array of primary, secondary and cultural sources, to students and scholars.

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