In February of 1970, Thomas Lynch, aged 21, bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. He landed in the townland of Moveen, at the edge of the ocean in West Clare, outside the thatched cottage that his great-grandfather - another Thomas Lynch - had left late in the 19th Century with a one-way ticket to America. Tommy and Nora Lynch, his elderly, unmarried, distant cousins welcomed the young American 'home'. In the words of the author, 'it changed my life'. He inherited the 'home place' when Nora died in 1992.
In the three decades since that first landing and in dozens of return trips to Moveen, Lynch learned to look for the larger world inside the small one, the planet in the local parish; to find, as Montaigne wrote, 'the whole of Man's estate' in every man. Lynch's poems and essays, widely published around the world, have made known the debt he owes to Ireland and the Irish.
'Booking Passage' is part travelogue, part cultural study, part memoir and elegy, part guide book for what Lynch calls 'fellow pilgrims' working their way through their own and the larger histories.