A tale of adventure, resilience and stubbornness

A tale of adventure, resilience and stubbornness


Caitlin Connors, the daughter of Christopher Clifford Connors, writes an intimate exploration of her father's final days, as she confronts her own complex relationship with a man whose impact on her life was profound in Irishman Dies From Stubbornness.

“Irishman dies from stubbornness, whiskey.” So began Christopher Clifford Connors’s obituary of a life that included hunting bears in Russia, inventing limo surfing, surviving a shipwreck, and training with Navy SEALs—for starters. At the end of 2016, Connors’s story captivated the world when the exploits of his sixty-seven years went viral.

Newspapers in New Zealand and Ireland, radio and blogs all across the United States, and strangers from around the world all connected with the story.

Many were inspired to quit the job they had, get the divorce (or the marriage) they wanted, or just smile in the wake of bereavement that seemed too heavy to bear. The stories of the “world’s most interesting man” are revealed in this book, to amazement and laughs, but the real marrow is his daughter, the original obituary writers, chapters that ground and connected this prism of a man seen through so many different lenses.

Irishman Dies from Stubbornness tells the story of a complex man from the multiple perspectives of people who knew him, especially his daughter Caitlin, whose complicated connection to him drew her close again during his last years. Her chapters reveal the final days and months of Chris’ life as well as her tumultuous relationship with the man everyone loved who was struggling to learn how to be a father.

Her judgments, of both her father and herself, are honest and fair and thoughtful and instructive. Stubbornness is a joy to read just for the expertise that Caitlin constantly displays (but never flaunts). It is written with a grace, facility, and vulnerability that is astonishing to see in a new writer.

Among its many other virtues, this book is a shop manual for anyone who needs a wakeup call, a grieving friend or a nurturing parent. Even while actively dying of cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease, Chris was a hotbed of life that readers can digest in quick spurts of chapters. But hunker down for the grounding chapters of the daughter-father relationship that holds nothing close to its chest.

Loss comes to us all. What will we do with our time here, and how should we honour those who pass? Irishman Dies from Stubbornness testifies to the power of the moments that live on in the hearts of those who love us long after we are gone.

Author biography 

Caitlin Connors spent her formative years enduring the harshness of East Coast winters in the United States, she says. After earning degrees from both Villanova University and Johns Hopkins University, Caitlin relocated to the sunny Florida coast. This is Connors’ first book.