Composer Chuck Pinnell makes his literary debut with The Irish Singer, inspired by his West Texas childhood and family trips to southern New Mexico—the stomping grounds of “boy bandit” Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid. Set during the 1870s in territorial Arizona and New Mexico, The Irish Singer is a deeply researched story about McCarty’s brilliant but hardscrabble existence as an orphaned Irish runaway and his later involvement in the violent complexities of the Lincoln County War. Mining decades of historical investigation guided by Lincoln County historian Nora Henn, Pinnell creates a vivid fictional world steeped in the authentic diversity of McCarty’s 19th century experience. The Irish Singer is a timely tale of ambition and identity: one that reveals McCarty’s profound devotion to Hispanic customs, sheds light on the origins of gun culture in America, and chronicles the astonishing rise of a uniquely misunderstood icon.


“[Pinnell’s] treatment of the ‘Kid’ is spot-on, intriguing, and leaves the reader wanting more….” — Roy B. Young, Wild West History Association


“An innovative origin story of Billy the Kid…with a humanity that kept the pages turning.” —Tom Carpenter, Western Writers of America


“A well-crafted novel, with an incredible story to tell.” — Richard Linklater, Academy Award-nominated writer-director

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