Cover image for Crossing Highbridge : a memoir of Irish America
Crossing Highbridge : a memoir of Irish America
Waters, Maureen, 1939-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xiii, 149 pages : portraits ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F128.68.B8 W38 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



An evocotive tale of coming to womanhood in the disorienting 1960s-a girl in the world of nuns and the Holy Ghost-but on a deeper level, this is a story of a woman who has suffered unimaglnable loss and attempts to make sense of that loss by re-imagining her past and her own Irish-American heritage. The first in her family born in the United States, Maureen grew up the Bronx Irish daughter of two unforgettable immigrants: her storytelling, former revolutionary father, and her fierce, IRA-supporting mother. Crossing Higbbridge is framed by the accidental death of Waters's son and her struggle to make sense of this loss by re-imagining her past and her heritage. Her life in postwar New York City was colored by Catholicism and strong cultural links to the other side - by Irish step dancing, the melodies of Thomas Moore, and the rituals, inflections, and harrowing memories impressed on her. Sex was a mystery. Schoolgirls wore below-the-knee blue serge uniforms with starched white collars and cuffs. Brutal treatment at the hands of the hands of the nuns who ran her college drove Waters to transfer to a secular school. Waters rebelled against an upbringing that seemed to wall her off

Author Notes

Maureen Waters is professor of English and acting director of Irish Studies at Queens College, New York.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Brian Patrickp. 3
Bronx Irishp. 11
The Bridgep. 11
University Avenuep. 13
An Irish Fatherp. 20
Mayo Womanp. 29
Tribal Voicesp. 37
Nunsp. 42
Death's Dominionp. 52
Rockawayp. 56
A Green Worldp. 59
Songs and Hornpipesp. 65
The Flesh and the Devilp. 69
Intemperate Needp. 75
Soundingsp. 83
No Celestial Signpostp. 90
Mythologiesp. 99
Locating Americap. 107
At the Interiorp. 123
Appendixp. 141