Fenway Recordings, Brookline Booksmith, Houghton Mifflin, and the Phoenix are teaming up to present the Phoenix Author Series, which kicks off next Saturday, September 30, at Great Scott in Allston at 7:30 pm. Southie native Michael Patrick MacDonald, author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, and the forthcoming Easter Rising: An Irish American Coming Up from Under, will be the first featured writer. He’ll read and sign before Read Yellow, Jake Brennan, Foreign Island, and Plan DJs take the stage as part of the NEMO Music Festival.
All Souls documented MacDonald’s childhood wrapped up in the criminal class of 1970’s Southie. Of a family of ten siblings, all raised by “Ma” alone, one of his brothers jumped off a building, a sister was pushed off a building and suffered brain damage, another brother was killed in a bank robbery, and one was hanged in a jail cell. MacDonald confronts race and poverty and violence within his family and the neighborhood.
In Easter Rising, he turns the lens towards himself and answers the question “how did you escape it all?” Turns out punk had a lot to do with it.
MacDonald, who lives in Brooklyn now, founded the South Boston Vigil Group, and helped launch Hands without Guns, a gun buyback program, in Boston.