Lucky Charms > Guinness

[Guinness is gross]

I'm not really into Saint Patrick's day- I don't generally wear a lot of green, I'm not a beer drinker, and I don't believe in leprechauns (although I have nothing against any of those things). I do, however, enjoy Irish writers (and Lucky Charms). There's something about the accent struggle so many of the Irish must endure that makes their writing so interesting. Irish novels are often seemingly depressing, but at least at the end you can tell yourself "you know, at least I didn't spend my childhood starving, by adolescence being beat by my alcoholic father, and my twenties dodging car bombs while walking down the street."

A few that I've read in recent years:

Roddy Doyle
I was officially first introduced to Doyle in college, when I was assigned to read the book The Temptations, but on second thought I think I may have attempted Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha sophomore year of high school. Recently I read The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and definitely plan on reading more of his works in the future. Doyle writes about a working class Ireland- about struggles, alcoholism, and the need to find a better life. His writing is definitely accessible, but it's also pretty deep. 

Oscar Wilde
Despite the fact I haven't read anything by him in years, Wilde is definitely an old favorite. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray in high school, and again in college, a favorite to this day. I took an entire seminar on him at UCLA, reading something like ten of his plays. I love his flamboyance and wit, and how this carries over into his writing. 

Colum McCann
This is most definitely a new writer on the list, since I just finished Let the Great World Spin this week. Nonetheless, I'm sold, and can guarantee I'll be picking up a few more of his books once the book-buying embargo has ended.

Paul Murray
I've only read one book by Murray, Skippy Dies, but I thought he did an excellent job capturing the essence of a modern Ireland, while still including the old-school charm we Americans tourists make the long flight for. The parallels between the traditional Catholic boarding school with the issues of real estate and global influence were fascinating. Being an outsider, from "newer is better" Southern California, this idea of trying to preserve the past while still progressing is something I can appreciate. 

Frank McCourt
I first read the memoir Angela's Ashes in high school and remember being fascinated by the struggle McCourt and his family went through. His family was extremely poor and his father was a raging alcoholic that never worked, but he survived and was able to find catharsis in his story. I later read 'Tis, the story of how he became a teacher and a writer. 

Emma Donoghue
The only novel I've read by Irish author Donogue is Room, which I thought was entertaining and different. It does not take place in Ireland, but I figured I needed to include at least one woman on this list.

Don't drink and drive. Don't pinch people unless you're okay being punched. And don't force yourself to eat any of that nasty corned beef and cabbage. 

1 comment:

  1. I love Roddy Doyle. He never disappoints. Happy St. Paddy's Day.