THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE by Josephine Hart

What can one say about Irish writers? Deep into this book, here’s what Josephine Hart says: “A city that had produced Joyce and Beckett and Yeats, a country that produced poet-heroes and more priests and nuns per head of population than almost any on earth was not going to spawn boys who just wanted to stand before a packed hall of gyrating teenagers and strum their guitars and sing. They had to have a message. One of salvation; they were in it to save the world. Like I said, we’re teachers, missionaries.” And then, a few pages later, as a character summarizes a reading experience: “When I finished the book I thought, language–that’s his real subject, not history.” When you read sentences like these, in a book like this, you sense you’re on to something special. The Irish writers take themselves seriously. They are bent, as noted above, towards the mission–with style.

February 21, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary, World Lit

LOVE AND SUMMER by William Trevor

In William Trevor’s novel LOVE AND SUMMER, past and present don’t collide but instead merge into a shimmering, elusive and painful present. The novel set in the 1950s explores the lives of interconnecting characters following the funeral of Mrs. Eileen Connulty in the Irish town of Rathmoye.

September 12, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Man Booker Nominee, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin

The very first page of Colm Toibin’s new novel, BROOKLYN, sets the stage beautifully: In Enniscorthy, a small town in Ireland, Eilis Lacey looks out the window as her more glamorous sister, Rose, returns from a game of golf with her professional acquaintances. Rose has an important job, provides for the family and is the arbiter of most conversations the homely Eilis shares with her mother. When Eilis looks out the window, it’s as if an adoring child is watching a parent return home. So it comes as no surprise when…

August 13, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Costa Award (Whitbread), Europe, Family Matters, Literary, Man Booker Nominee, New York City, World Lit