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The Deportees

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For the past few years, Roddy Doyle has been writing stories for "Metro Eireann", a newspaper started by, and aimed at, immigrants to Ireland. Each of the stories took a new slant on the immigrant experience, something of increasing relevance and importance in today's Ireland. The stories range from "Guess Who's Coming to the Dinner", where a father who prides himself on his open-mindedness when his daughters talk about sex, is forced to confront his feelings when one of them brings home a black fella, to a terrifying ghost story, "The Pram", in which a Polish nanny grows impatient with her charge's older sisters and decides - in a phrase she has learnt - to 'scare them shitless'. Most of the stories are very funny - in "'57 per cent Irish" Ray Brady tries to devise a test of Irishness by measuring reactions to Robbie Keane's goal against Germany in the 2002 World Cup, Riverdance and "Danny Boy" - others deeply moving. And best of all, in the title story itself, Jimmy Rabbitte, the man who formed The Commitments, decides it's time to find a new band, and this time no White Irish need apply. Multicultural to a fault, "The Deportees" specialise not in soul music this time, but the songs of Woody Guthrie. Hide synopsis

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