Ireland’s most popular fictional character is in the United States
One of Ireland’s most popular fictional characters travels to New York for the latest adventure in the “Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling” series.
“Aisling and the City”, the fourth and final installment of the series, chronicles the latest hilarious adventures of Aisling, a quintessential Irish woman balancing her life at home in the country and her job in the “big smoke”.
The latest installment in the hugely popular series sees Aisling swap the bright lights of Dublin for the even brighter lights of Manhattan as she prepares to start a new job and make a fresh start after finally shutting the door on her relationship. with John.
Sarah Breen, who co-wrote the book alongside Emer McLysaght, told IrishCentral that they had always planned to send Aisling overseas and said they chose New York to reflect the aspirations of many Irish who wish to ‘succeed in America’.
“I think we all had the aspiration to ‘make it in America’ and New York is such a Mecca for Aisling. shopping for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren in outlets, ”Breen told IrishCentral.
Breen said she and McLysaght drew on their own experiences living abroad to help create the final chapter of Aisling’s journey.
“Emer and I have both lived abroad over the years and have experienced those feelings of loneliness and homesickness that sometimes catch you off guard, which Aisling also goes through.”
Breen described Aisling as a character who has enjoyed a sheltered life but has faced challenges and gained real-life experience since the first book came out four years ago.
She said it was “exciting” to send Aisling into the Big Apple and added that the character always thrives better as a fish out of water.
Breen and McLysaght thought Aisling was a uniquely Irish character when they released the first book in the series, but have since learned that almost every country has its own version of an “Aisling”.
“In Aisling and the City, Aisling meets a complete Aubrey from Long Island who runs the office and, well, it’s like looking in a mirror.”
The “Aisling” series has proven to be extremely popular since its debut on Irish shelves in 2017, with the first book in the series becoming the best-selling Irish fiction book of the decade and the third best-selling fiction book in Ireland. .
Breen and McLysaght are now preparing to write the fifth and final book in the series and are also working with Element Pictures to adapt the “Oh My God” series for television.
Breen said she was stunned by the show’s instant success, adding that she never expected to write a sequel, let alone four follow-up books, when she released the first book in 2017.
“The reaction has been incredible so far, people are already asking us when the next book is coming out,” she said. “We haven’t released a book in 2019, so people have been asking for a new book on Aisling for almost two years now.”
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All three “Aisling” books were among the top five Irish bestsellers when “Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling” came out in 2019, and Breen believes the series’ popularity stems from the fact that readers bond with the main character.
“I think the main thing is that a lot of people see themselves in Aisling. Often times female protagonists in popular fiction either tend to be very ambitious, like working in fancy fashion magazines, or incredibly sad detectives or murder victims. Aisling’s fair is the bog standard. She’s all of us making our breakfast in the morning. And she’s sweating the little things. “
“We are also often told that our books help people get back to reading because you skim over them.”
The character is based on the experiences of Breen and McLysaght, who both grew up in the countryside and moved to Dublin for college.
“While some of the storylines in the novels tend to turn into a farce every now and then, there is some authenticity there because we’re both Aisling ourselves.”
The final installment in the series is also grounded in reality and immerses Aisling headfirst into the real-life experiences of Irish expats around the world.
“Aisling and the City” follows Aisling as she tries to find her footing in the Big Apple as she grapples with the city’s “always-on” work culture and enters the dating game in New York City .
Aisling, however, like many Irish immigrants who came before her, finds that it’s just not the same to connect with family and friends back home via WhatsApp or Zoom.
“Aisling and the City “is available now in all major Irish bookstores.