Follow Tom on Facebook 

Tom Phelan

About Tom Phelan

Tom Phelan

Tom Phelan was born and reared on a small farm in Mountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland. Tom had just turned fifty when his first novel, In the Season of the Daisies, was accepted for publication by the Lilliput Press in Dublin. Books Ireland's reviewer later wrote, "The most obvious question posed by a novelistic debut with as much resounding vigour as this is: Where has Mr. Phelan been?"

Since then, Tom has penned a memoir, We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood, and five other novels: Nailer, The Canal Bridge, Iscariot, Derrycloney, and Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told.

More about Tom Phelan...

What's New...


“A tender recollection of growing up on a farm in Ireland in the 1940s. In precise, vibrant prose, novelist Phelan creates a finely etched portrait…A captivating portrait of a bygone time.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In the tradition of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It is a heartfelt and masterfully written memoir of growing up in Ireland in the 1940s. Phelan, who was born and reared in County Laois in the Irish midlands, spent his formative years working with his wise and demanding father as he sought to wrest a livelihood from a farm that was often wet, muddy, and back-breaking. More about We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It

Buy from



"A powerful and deeply affecting novel." –Books Ireland

Brilliantly and movingly narrated, The Canal Bridge is at once a heartrending love story and a powerful evocation of lives affected by World War I. Tom Phelan shows how two young Irishmen take their village to war with them, as well as how they bring the war’s devastation home. More about The Canal Bridge

Buy from



“A masterful portrait of Irish village life disguised as a murder mystery.” —Shelf Awareness

Part mystery and part human comedy, Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told is an enthralling story about what holds a village together and what keeps people apart. When journalist Patrick Bracken returns to Gohen, the Irish village where he was born, he knows the eyes of the townspeople are on him. More about Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told...

Buy from