Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working-class Queens; a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians; and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend. This childhood triptych comes to life in The Clancys of Queens, an electric, one-of-a-kind memoir.
From scheming and gambling with her force-of-nature grandmother to brawling with 11-year-old girls on the concrete recess battle yard of MS 172 to hours lounging on Adirondack chairs beside an immaculate croquet lawn to holding court beside Joey O'Dirt, Goiter Eddy, and Roger the Dodger at her Dad's local bar, Tara leapfrogs across these varied spheres, delivering stories from each world with originality, grit, and outrageous humor.
But The Clancys of Queens is not merely an authentic coming-of-age tale or a rowdy barstool biography. Chock-full of characters who escape the popular imaginings of this city, it offers a bold portrait of real people, people whose stories are largely absent from our shelves. Most crucially, it captures - in inimitable prose - the rarely heard voices of New York's working-class women.
With a light touch but a hard hit, The Clancys of Queens blends savvy and wit to take us on an unforgettable strata-hopping adventure.
Editors Select, October 2016 - Growing up, Tara Clancy spent weekdays with her dad in Broad Channel - a part of Queens that is poor, isolated, and sectioned off from the outside world by a wall of blue portable toilets. On weekends, she'd go visit her mom and her mom's millionaire boyfriend in the Hamptons. Able to "leap social strata in a single bound", Clancy offers all kinds of anecdotes imbued with the polarity of two entirely different environments and the contrasting characters she came to call family. What really makes her memoir, though, is Clancy's wonderful thick New York accent. She is a born narrator and spoken-word storyteller. Chock full of wit and charm, her stories will keep you laughing and, if you're lucky, speaking with a Queens-bred twang. Michael, Audible Editor
"The fierce voices of working class women are too often inaudible in our top-down social economy, but when Tara Clancy breaks through, she dazzles us with authenticity, hilarity, and insight. The relentless honesty of her book will capture your heart." (Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree)
"This memoir is blessed by a narrating voice of such vivid originality the reader cannot help but relish the life it details." (Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City)
"Tara Clancy is my new favorite bad ass. The Clancys of Queens is a hilarious love letter to my favorite city and to working class families everywhere." (Stephen Adly Guirgis, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Between Riverside and Crazy)
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