Best Book by a Local Author (2002)

A Sort of Homecoming, by Robert Cremins

Native Dubliner Robert Cremins is an English teacher at Strake Jesuit College Prep, and likely the sort of man of whom his alter ego, Tom Iremonger, would not have approved. Iremonger, the protagonist in Cremins's A Sort of Homecoming, is a pill-popping, hard-drinking, womanizing, inheritance-squandering young nihilist fresh back in Celtic Tiger Ireland after six months' debauchery on the Continent. According to an Irish ad campaign, he is also "Ireland's greatest resource." The first face Iremonger sees on his return from Europe is his own on a poster. Nevertheless, his swollen ego soon takes a battering as he realizes that he is not as sophisticated as he thinks, nor is his country as provincial as he believes nor his long-suffering girlfriend as faithful as he had assumed. Cremins's novel is among the first in a new subgenre in Irish fiction that concerns itself not with rural starving drunkards nor Dublin's huddled masses but rather with freshly minted Dublin high society. The Times of London said that the author has "the smart touch of a young Martin Amis."


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