Now in its 12th year, the One Book One Island community reading project is distributing free copies of the book TransAtlantic, by Collum McCann, at island businesses. Beginning March 9 there will be nine days of free events related to the book’s themes and characters.

The acclaimed and award-winning novel spans continents, leaps across centuries, and weaves together real and fictional characters. McCann’s story follows Alcock and Brown setting a course for Ireland as they attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. Moves to Frederick Douglass, who finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause in 1845 as famine ravages the country. And continues to U.S. Senator George Mitchell, who departs for Belfast in 1998 to shepherd Northern Ireland’s peace talks. These three crossings are connected by a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history.

TransAtlantic Handout (pdf)

Interested in more information on Irish Immigration or Frederick Douglass in Ireland?

Irish Immigration to America, 1630 – 1921 (pdf)
By Dr. Catherine B. Shannon

Two Outspoken Champions of Freedom: Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell (pdf)
By Dr. Christine Kinealy

Pick up a free book at:

  • Annye’s Whole Foods
  • Nantucket Atheneum
  • Nantucket Historical Association main office
  • Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror
  • Saltmarsh Senior Center

The book supply runs out quickly and readers are asked to please return their copy to the Atheneum or pass it on to a friend when they have finished.

Free One Book One Island Events

FRIDAY, MARCH 9        5 – 7 pm
Exhibit: “Shades of Emerald,”
Artists Association Johnson Gallery, 19 Washington St.
Ongoing until March 17 (closed Sunday)

SUNDAY, MARCH 11     3:30 to 7 pm
Ceili on! Family fun event – live Irish music, Irish dance instruction, and an Irish chocolate shop. Hosted by Irish Rambles
The Muse, 44 Surfside Rd.

MONDAY, MARCH 12   5:30 pm 
Skype™ interview: U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, Northern Ireland mediator Dreamland Theater, 17 South Water St.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13   10 am & 5:30 pm
Transatlantic Book Discussion
Morning session: led by Molly Anderson and Lisa Lazarus
Sherburne Commons, 40 Sherburne Commons Ln.
Evening Session: Led by Molly Anderson and Sheryll Reichwein
Community School Parlor, 56 Center St.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14     12 pm
Afternoon Tea & Movie – “The Quiet Man”
Hosted by Irish Rambles for Elder Ramblers
The Nantucket Hotel, 77 Easton St.
Please register for this event by calling 508-901-0010

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14     5:30 pm

Skype™ interview with author Colum Mccann
Dreamland Theater, 17 South Water St.

NHA “Food for Thought” Belfast: Peace, Now What? – A Screening and Conversation Filmmaker John Stanton
Whaling Museum, 15 Broad St.

INSIGHTS Presentations and Discussion:  Frederick Douglass in Ireland, Dr. Christine Kinealy. The Irish Famine with Dr. Catherine Shannon
Kinealy Essay  (pdf)
Shannon Essay  (pdf)
Whaling Museum, 15 Broad St.
Lectures will be rescheduled for a later date

FRIDAY, MARCH 16   4:00 pm
Transatlantic Book Discussion
Evening Session: Led by Molly Anderson and Sheryll Reichwein
Community School Parlor, 56 Center St.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16  5:30 pm
Concert: “From Newfoundland to New Found Freedom: An evening of Irish and African American Music”
African Meeting House, 29 York St.

Children’s Irish Story Time (ages 3 to 5)
Hosted by Irish Rambles
Bookworks, 25 Broad St.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18     3 to 5 pm
Join fellow readers for a celebration – refreshments, music from The Shepcats, Irish Set dance with audience participation, Irish-American comedian Kevin Flynn, videos, and Irish craft station and displays of Irish art and objects.
The Nantucket Hotel, Ballroom, 77 Easton St.

Irish films at the Atheneum:  Fri. 1/26 at 7 pm “Waking Ned Devine;” Wed. 2/7/ at 7 pm “Ondine;” Sat. 2/17 at 3 pm “Into the West” (for families); Wed. 3/7 at 7 pm “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.”

Irish Craft Stations – Fri. 3/9 to Sun. 3/18 at the Artists Association (24 Amelia Dr.), Atheneum (1 India St.), Community School (56 Center St.), Saltmarsh Center (83 Washington St.). March 9 – 18, days and hours vary.

For more event information please visit


Restaurants With Irish Feasts
March 15, Irish Rambles at Town Restaurant. Four course meal $75.
March 17 & 18, Nantucket Hotel Breeze restaurant St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Special. Three course meal $35.

Accommodation Special for Islanders
March 16,17 & 18, Eat at Nantucket Hotel’s Breeze restaurant and spend the night for free. Must pay a $35 cleaning fee and spend at least $25 per person at the restaurant.

March 10, 7 pm Dreamland Theater, Woods Tea Company
Admission: $30 ($25 for Dreamland and Nantucket Arts Council members)
Woods Tea Company is an acoustic group that performs Celtic tunes, sea shanties, American folk and novelty songs with ease and skill.
Howard Wooden: Vocals, bass, guitar, bodhran.
Tom MacKenzie: Vocals, hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, ukulele, keyboard
Patti Casey: Vocals, guitar, flute, penny-whistle, and clogboard

Past selections include:

Elephant Company (Constantine Croke)

The Invention of Wings (Monk Kidd)

Enrique’s Journey (Nazario)

To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee)

The Red Garden (Hoffman)

The Maltese Falcon (Hammett)

 The Postmistress (Blake)

Coal Black Horse (Olmstead)

American Chica (Arana)
Seedfolks (Fleischman)
Abuela (Dorros)

 The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
The Young Man and the Sea (Philbrick)
Island Boy (Cooney)

The Kiterunner (Hosseini)
The Breadwinner (Ellis)
The Librarian of Basra (Winter)

Support for One Book One Island

The program is made possible by funding from the Tupancy-Harris Foundation, the Nantucket Hotel, Hale Family Foundation together with financial and staff support from:

* Founding sponsors

Please consider supporting the One Book One Island Program. A $100 gift provides 10 additional free books for the community. To donate, or for more information, please contact Molly Anderson, Nantucket Atheneum, 508-228-1110.