A Kid from Marlboro Road


A Kid from Marlboro Road: A Novel


Edward Burns


September 10, 2024 - Now available for pre-order!

An Irish-American family comes to life through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy in this debut novel by actor-filmmaker Ed Burns.

Immigrants and storytellers, lilting voices and Long Island moxy are all part of this colorful Irish-Catholic community at the end of the 1970s.

Kid from Marlboro Road opens at a wake where “Kneenie,” as his mother calls him, takes in the death of his beloved grandfather, Pop, a larger-than-life figure to him. The overflowing crowd includes sandhogs in their muddy work boots, old Irish biddies in black dresses and cops in uniform, along with the family in mourning. There’s an open casket, the first time he’s seen a dead person.
He watches it all, writing his observations for school projects, not yet realizing how this world defines and explains who he is and will be. His older brother Tommy has no patience for rules and domesticities, his father is emotionally elsewhere. Kneenie knows he’s the best thing his mother’s got, though her sadness envelops them both.
Stories cascade between the prior generation’s colorful origins in the Bronx and Hell’s Kitchen, and the softer world of Gibson, the town on Long Island where the family lives now. There are scenes in the Rockaways, at Belmont Race Track, and in Montauk. Out of individual struggles a collective warmth emerges, a certain kind of American story, raucous and joyous.
Includes black and white photographs from the author’s Irish-American New York family history.