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Patricia Aakhus
Pen name Patricia McDowell[1]
Ethnicity Irish
Notable award(s) Cahill Award

Patricia Aakhus, also known by the pseudonym Patricia McDowell, is an Irish novelist and the director of International Studies at the University of Southern Indiana.[2] She won Readercon's Best Imaginative Literature Award in 1990 and the Cahill Award for The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh.[1] She has a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MFA from Norwich University.[2]


Her debut novel, The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh dramatically retells the ancient Irish legend of Mael Duin,[3] an adopted son of a chieftain's widow who accidentally learns of his true parents. He unearths the truth that his mother is a madwoman living in a cave and his father, was killed by Viking raiders. He seeks to avenge their death and builds a large curragh and sets out for the Viking lands with 16 men. They are caught in a storm near enemy territory and drift through mystical islands, which permits the writer Aakhus to increase the magical aspect of the subject matter, as the novel becomes increasingly enchanted with prophetic visionary.[4]

Other publications include Astral Magic in the Renaissance: Gems, Poetry and Patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft and the short story The Spy .[2]She is currently working on a contemporary novel, entitled, Dogtown.[2]

Aakhus teaches creative writing and the humanities at the University of Southern Indiana[2].


  • Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh, the (1990) ISBN 0934257310
  • Daughter of the Boyne (1992) ISBN 0863273491
  • Sorrows of Tara, the (1995) ISBN 0863274692


  1. ^ a b Internet Book List
  2. ^ a b c d e University of Southern Indiana
  3. ^ Mackillop, James, "Imram Curaig Maíle Dúin." (2004), A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology
  4. ^ Reed Business Information, Inc. ( 1989)


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