Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes
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Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes

By (author) Martha Long

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Born a bastard to a teenage mother in the slums of 1950s Dublin, Martha has to be a fighter from the very start. As her mother moves from man to man, and more children follow, they live hand-to-mouth in squalid, freezing tenements, clothed in rags and forced to beg for food. But just when it seems things can't get any worse, her mother meets Jackser. Despite her trials, Martha is a child with an irrepressible spirit and a wit beyond her years. She tells the story of her early life without an ounce of self-pity and manages to recreate a lost era in which the shadow of the Catholic Church loomed large and if you didn't work, you didn't eat. Martha never stops believing she is worth more than the hand she has been dealt, and her remarkable voice will remain with you long after you've finished the last line.

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  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 128 x 190 x 32mm | 358.34g
  • 15 May 2008
  • Mainstream Publishing
  • Edinburgh
  • English
  • 184596313X
  • 9781845963132
  • 31,234

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Author Information

Martha Long was born in Dublin in the early 1950s and still lives there today. She has written seven critically acclaimed volumes of autobiography, including the bestselling Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes. Run, Lily, Run is her fiction debut.

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Review quote

"Stands head and shoulders above everything else in the category ... a remarkable personal and literary achievement for the author and an unforgettable experience for the reader" Irish Independent "[Long's] story is unique in its rawness and its honesty. Entirely self-educated, she narrates her own life in a way which is both riveting and moving" Greenock Telegraph "Without question the most harrowing tale I have ever read. Even Charles Dickens, whom we appreciate for being the voice of so many abused children, is left in the dust" -- Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

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