The works of Peter Quinn

This Tuesday evening, Nov. 19, the Irish Arts Center will feature a program called "History and Mystery: The Making of the Fintan Dunne Trilogy", featuring the series' author Peter Quinn with guests Dan Barry, Mary Tierney, Terry Golway, Honor Molloy, and swingstress Tara O'Grady.

The evening will be both a celebration and an exploration of the Fintan Dunne trilogy (the just published "Dry Bones," the earlier books "The Man Who Never Returned" and "Hour of the Cat.")

In his blog, Quinn recently explored the appeal of the trilogy, writing:

"My introduction to the triune came early. Each morning as my classmates and I made the sign of the cross, my first-grade nun stressed that the Trinity–one God in three separate and distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost–was essential to our faith and, ergo, to our salvation. Since my six-year-old brain couldn't make much sense of it, I was happy to be told the three-person God was a mystery beyond human understanding and had almost driven mad the theologians who’d tried to solve it.
"Still, it stuck. Three in one, one in three. The holy trifecta. In the large stained glass window on the south wall of our Bronx parish church, St. Patrick held up a shamrock. One stem, three petals: They glowed a single emerald green as the sun lofted behind them. For that moment at least, the riddle of the Trinity ceased to bewilder."

The Wall Street Journal has hailed "Dry Bones," the third and last installment in the trilogy, as “another work of intricate structure, suspense and wit.”

Former Chief Speechwriter for Governor Hugh Carey and Governor Mario Cuomo, Quinn is also the author of  the epic novel "Banished Children of Eve," a 1995 American Book Award winner; "Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America," a collection of non-fiction pieces. The credentials roll-on and are detailed at his appropriately named website


National Book Award winner Colum McCann said of him, “Peter Quinn is a poet and historian and one of our finest storytellers. He sits at the fireside of the American imagination. He can carve mystery out of mystery. The work is generous and agile and profound.”

Best selling author James Patterson wrote, "Peter Quinn just might make it into the history books himself. He is perfecting, if not actually creating, a genre you could call the history-mystery.”

Of his fellow Manhattan College classmate, Quinn said “Jim and I together have sold 150 million books, worldwide. James Patterson has sold 149,996,000. I sold the rest.”

Though the action of Dry Bones is focused on Europe at the end of World War II, New York makes a dramatic appearance, and plays a major role in the other books of the trilogy.

Quinn and filmmaker Charles Hale created this video homage to the vanished city of Fintan Dunne.

This evening of word, music, discussion and humor is presented at Irish Arts Center in association with Glucksman Ireland House.  For more information, go to the IAC website.