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Fordham University Press announces the publication of the first novel in its new imprint New York ReLit

29th October 2020


New York, NY — Fordham University Press has announced the formation of New York ReLit, a sub-imprint of Empire State Editions, which will publish historical literary fiction, beginning with the March 2021 trade paperback re-issue of a timely American classic: distinguished Irish American author Peter Quinn’s 1995 American Book Award-winning novel, BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A NOVEL OF CIVIL WAR NEW YORK.

Says Fredric Nachbaur, Director, Fordham University Press about the new imprint:

“Launching the New York ReLit series with BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A NOVEL OF CIVIL WAR NEW YORK by noted novelist and urban chronicler Peter Quinn, and following up with his four other books, offered FUP the ideal opportunity to branch into fiction in a way that made sense for our publishing program. Peter’s connection to Fordham, the focus of NYC in all the stories, and the quality of the writing, made his collection the perfect fit. I am thrilled that FUP is the new home for his books.”

On having his works re-issued by Fordham University Press, Peter Quinn says: “

“My Fordham roots are deep. I grew up in the Bronx, not far from Rose Hill. My father, daughter, son and I have Fordham degrees. My wife and I were married in the University Chapel where my paternal grandmother was baptized in 1863. Fordham has helped shape my life and writing. Its tradition of Jesuit humanism and its ability to gather people of different backgrounds, from different places, with different ambitions in the shared pursuit of meaning and truth are integral to the city that I write about. Bringing BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A NOVEL OF CIVIL WAR NEW YORK and my other books to Fordham University Press is a homecoming as well as an honor.”

In BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A NOVEL OF CIVIL WAR NEW YORK, the Civil War has just entered its third bloody year and the North is about to impose its first military draft, a decision that will spark the most devastating and destructive urban riot in American history.

BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A NOVEL OF CIVIL WAR NEW YORK traces that event as it grips New York City. The cast is drawn from every strata: a likeable and laconic Irish American hustler, an ambitious and larcenous Yankee stockbroker, an immigrant serving girl, a beautiful and mysterious biracial actress and her white minstrel lover as well as a cluster of real-life characters, including scheming, ever-pompous General George McClellan, fiery, fierce Archbishop “Dagger John” Hughes and fast-declining musical genius Stephen Foster. The fates of these characters coalesce in the cataclysm of the Draft Riots, as a pivotal period in the history of New York and the nation is painfully, vividly, magically brought to life.

About Peter Quinn

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Peter Quinn is a novelist, political historian, and foremost chronicler of New York City. He is the author of Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America and the trilogy of historical detective novels—Hour of the CatThe Man Who Never Returned, and Dry Bones. 

All his books will be reissued by Fordham University Press under its Empire State Editions imprint.

Praise for Banished Children of Eve

*Winner of the 1995 American Book Award*

“Historical fiction as well made and whole as this is not common…convincing and intriguing…hardly a page of this book with without some revelation.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exceptional…The author’s pungent style, refusal to romanticize, and affinity for historical details all blend to make Banished Children of Eve an achingly vibrant panorama of ethnic feuds and struggles.”—Los Angeles Times

“One of the very, very best modern historical novels.”—Thomas Flanagan, National Book Critics Award-winning author of The Year of the French  

Additional Praise for Peter Quinn

“Vividly imagined, scrupulously researched, and almost disorienting in its authenticity…A historical classic…Nothing short of splendid.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer on Banished Children of Eve

“A stunning portrayal of New York in 1863…Would that all history be told as well.”—Chicago Sun-Times on Banished Children of Eve

“Peter Quinn just might make it into the history books himself. He is perfecting, if not actually creating, a genre you could call the history-mystery.”New York Times bestselling author James Patterson on The Man Who Never Returned

“Peter Quinn writes about the old New York the way that Allen Furst writes about Paris.”Kevin Baker, American Book Award-winning author of Paradise Alley on The Man Who Never Returned

“Freely mixing history, mystery, and novelistic license, Quinn offers a noir-ish tale of Tammany Hall politics, sex, crime, Broadway moguls, and cops…Quinn’s rich, insightful, evocative descriptions of New York…will certainly please fans of historical crime novels.”—Booklist on The Man Who Never Returned

“Peter Quinn is a poet and an historian and one of our finest storytellers. He sits at the fireside of the American imagination. He can carve mystery out of mystery. The work is generous and agile and profound.”—Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin on Dry Bones

“An exceptionally thoughtful and interesting inquiry into Irish America.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post on Looking for Jimmy

“The Irish American story—a 150-year saga—is a fascinating one, and Quinn tells it superbly. A charming, informative, and memorable book.” —America Magazine on Looking for Jimmy

“A sweeping tale of disaster, survival and triumph.”—San Francisco Chronicle on Looking for Jimmy

“The pacing is tight, the descriptions of New York in the 1930s rich, the characters engaging, and the dialogue pitch perfect. Only a churl could resist.” —Boston Globe on Hour of the Cat

Talking Points

Peter was inspired to write BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE in part by his own heritage and family history. He can discuss how his own history connects to the story, and how that connection influenced his writing.

BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE includes a character, Jack Mulcahey, who wears blackface for his performances in a minstrel show. Peter can discuss how he handled the writing and research of this character to make the presentation of blackface both accurate and sensitive.

BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE was initially published in 1994, and won the 1995 American Book Award. Peter can talk about why he thinks our current moment is the right time for a re-release, and how the issues in Banished Children of Eve—like racial prejudice, protest, and a country coming apart at the seams—are relevant today.

Peter can talk about how work as a speechwriter (including time as chief speechwriter for former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and chief speechwriter at Time Warner) has influenced his writing, and what it was like to transition from speechwriting to historical fiction writing.

Like many of Peter’s other works, BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE features a masterful blend of historical fiction and mystery/thriller. Peter can talk about how he has honed his ability to write at this fascinating and intriguing intersection.

¨Peter has also worked on narrative and documentary films, including The Gangs of New York and the Oscar-nominated The Passion of Sister Rose. He can discuss how film work differs from literary work, and what it was like to bring his vast knowledge of Irish American history to these projects.

Peter can discuss interesting discoveries he made during his research for BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE, as well as his other books.

Peter can talk about his current work and projects, both literary, and on behalf of the Irish American community.

BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE: A Novel of Civil War New York By Peter Quinn Fordham University Press Empire State Editions | New York ReLit | 03/02/2021 | ISBN-13: 9780823294084| TP $17.95

To find out more about Peter Quinn and New York ReLit, please email Kate O’Brien-Nicholson at [email protected] .