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Her Irish immigrant grandmother died in childbirth in 1865 in San Francisco, and her Irish father died a few days before Christmas when she was only three. Edna Mary Cullinane Nugent (1890-1986) was educated in an orphanage and began working at age 11 as a “cash girl” in the Emporium in downtown San Francisco. She married soldier Raymond Nugent who was about to be shipped to France in WWI. Raising six beautiful children in Oakland, California after the war, Edna and Raymond left a heritage of kindness and love that has come down to their 37 grandchildren. This book recounts Edna Nugent’s story—from her Irish roots to the memories her family has written--a well-deserved legacy. Tracing the roots of oppression in Ireland that led to the famines and great migration to America, this book tells the story of the Griffin family of Preghane, Ireland, near Kinsale, where Anne Griffin was born in 1829. After coming to San Francisco, she died after giving birth to baby Hannah in 1865. Anne Griffin bequeathed a legacy to us through her granddaughter Edna Mary Cullinane Nugent whose wonderful personality and goodness her children and grandchildren recount in this book. In this tribute to the strong Irish women who braved hardship to pass on the gift of life, we express our gratitude and love to Anne Griffin, Hannah Scanlan, and Edna Mary Cullinane Nugent.
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Ellen McCracken is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her books include: Decoding Women’s Magazines: From Mademoiselle to Ms. (1993), New Latina Narrative: The Feminine Space of Postmodern Ethnicity (1999), The Life and Writing of Fray Angelico Chavez: A New Mexico Renaissance Man (2009), Paratext and Performance in the Novels of Junot Díaz and Sandra Cisneros (2016), and the iBook, May Days in Spain (2012).
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