The Clancys of Queens
by Tara Clancy
An authentic, voice-driven memoir from a tough New York City native whose unusual upbringing included the guidance of her Irish cop father, her raucous Italian grandparents, and her vibrant mother’s millionaire boyfriend.
Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working-class Queens, a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians, and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend. This childhood triptych comes to life in The Clancys of Queens.
From scheming and gambling with her force-of-nature grandmother, to brawling with eleven-year-old girls on the concrete recess battle yard of MS 172, to hours lounging on Adirondack chairs beside an immaculate croquet lawn, to holding court beside Joey O’Dirt, Goiter Eddy, and Roger the Dodger at her dad’s local bar, Tara leapfrogs across these varied spheres, delivering stories from each world with originality, grit, and outrageous humor.
But The Clancys of Queens is not merely an authentic coming-of-age tale or a rowdy barstool biography. Chock-full of characters who escape the popular imaginings of this city, it offers a bold portrait of real people, people whose stories are largely absent from our shelves. Most crucially, it captures—in inimitable prose—the rarely heard voices of New York’s working-class women.
With a light touch but a hard hit, The Clancys of Queens blends savvy and wit to take us on an unforgettable strata-hopping adventure.
Tara Clancy’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Paris Review Daily, The New York Times Magazine, and The Rumpus. She has told several stories on "The Moth Radio Hour," and has hosted their live shows in New York City and throughout the country. Her stories have also been featured on NPR’s "Snap Judgment," "Risk!," and "The Story Collider," among other programs.
The Queer Book Club was founded who knows how many years ago by two Smith grads, new in town and hoping to meet women. Since then, we've met many smart queers of various genders, read heaps of books, laughed a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We read books by and/or about queers: classics, contemporary and genre fiction, graphic novels, non-fiction, memoirs, plays, and poetry. We convene the third Wednesday of the month at 7 PM. After our discussion of the book chosen for the month, we adjourn to a local watering hole for socializing. Join us, even if you didn't get around to reading the book--you never know who you might meet!