OverviewNext Generation Indie Book Award - Finalist - Regional Non-FictionIllinois Women's Press Association Communications Contest - 1st Place - Non-Fiction InstructionalConnect with Your Chicago Irish... Where the Culture Is Grand, the Community Lively, and Good Craic is LegalBeing Irish in Chicago means you're twice blessed first with a proud heritage, steeped in rich history and cultural traditions, then with a hometown abundant in opportunities to explore and celebrate your roots.In Chicago's Cook County alone, more than 500,000 residents claim to be Irish descendants. When Irish immigrants in search of a better life settled in neighborhoods such as Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Lakeview, Jefferson Park, and Edison Park, raising families, building parishes, and contributing their talents to help shape this city, they imprinted on Chicago the enduring reflection of their identity.Shamrocks and green beer may fuel stereotypes, but Sharon Shea Bossard steers past the paddywhackery of such limited views of what it means to be Irish. In Finding Your Chicago Irish, Bossard offers a comprehensive, entertaining field guide to the heart and soul of Irish heritage and culture in Chicago.This unique GPS of sorts will give you instant access to destinations and resources available to anyone with an interest in Chicago's Irish community. The tourist in you will love Bossard's infectious encouragement to explore and the fascinating details she weaves into her roadmap.Navigate with ease to:--Local venues and heritage centers that preserve Irish cultural legacies in the arts, sports, organizations, clubs, holiday events, and a host of Irish-themed activities.--Educational opportunities: Discover the Irish language, get involved in Irish theater, get your jig on, or learn to play an Irish instrument; travel to Ireland for total immersion.--Cultural experiences for kids and teens.--City and suburban Irish pubs and restaurants, specialty stores, entertainers and instruments makers, and even sources for Irish canine companions.--Irish radio shows, TV, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and websites.--An informative genealogy section to inspire you to research your Irish roots and investigate the possibility of becoming an Irish citizen.--Family recipes for your own authentic taste of Ireland. "Chicago is no Second City when it comes to the Irish," says Bossard. "But you don't have to be Irish to appreciate the traditions and culture of an ancient land whose history reflects the spirit of America. If you spend enough time exchanging good craic (social life) with the Irish, you'll be talking with a lilt to your voice in no time at all."
Reviews“Very useful . . . a very comprehensive guide to everything connected with Ireland available to those finding themselves in Chicago, either as residents or visitors.” —Irish Emigrant
“A wonderful book . . . packed with information about all kinds of events that Irish Americans would enjoy . . . carefully researched, a joy to peruse, fun to use. What a tremendous service the author has done to assemble this information for Irish Americans to explore and enjoy their rich Irish heritage." —Irish American News
“The most comprehensive to-do list for Irish culture in Chicago that I've seen! If you've ever thought you could use a concierge for all things Irish in Chicago, this is it! Ms. Shea Bossard makes the hidden gems of the city's Irish community more accessible than ever before." —Tim O'Malley, author, Concierge Preferred
"There is a reason that Chicago has produced such important figures in Irish culture, from Chief O'Neill to Michael Flatley. There is a vitality to this city that resonates in the music, literature, and art of Irish Americans who live here, and Sharon Shea Bossard captures this in her comprehensive guidebook. This work is a social map of Irish Chicago, and it doesn't miss a thing. To paraphrase an old Irish expression, Finding Your Chicago Irish is mighty. —Christopher Lynch, author Chicago's Midway Airport: The First Seventy-Five Years
"Finally! A road map to not only find my Chicago Irish, but to celebrate my native city and my ethnic roots. With a Guinness in hand, a shamrock in my pocket, and a storytelling tradition in my soul, I move ahead with Sharon Shea Bossard's much-appreciated book at my side to discover my heritage yet more." —Daniel P. Smith, author On the Job: Behind the Stars of the Chicago Police Department
Author BiographySharon Shea Bossard is an Irish citizen who earned her master's degree in Education from Chicago's Northeastern Illinois University. Curious about her Irish family's experiences as struggling immigrants in Chicago, she meticulously recorded their lives. That venture took an interesting turn with the successful publication of her first book, Finding My Irish, where she not only reveals to her readers the difficulties and rewards of the search, but also tells the story of her grandparents' journey from rural County Roscommon to the modern city of Chicago in 1903. Earning excellent reviews in all major Irish and Irish American publications, her book has been featured on numerous radio and television talk shows in Ireland and the United States. Her writing has appeared in the Irish Genealogical Society International magazine, and she continues to address professional organizations throughout the country, inspiring others to embark on their own journey of discovery.Sharon is a member of Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center, Gaelic Park, County Roscommon Midwest Association, County Kerry Club of Chicago, Illinois Women's Press Association, and the Writer's Workshop in Barrington. Visit her website, findingmyirish-dot-com.