Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate this day and as a cheeky nod to my Celtic roots, I’m paying tribute today to certain Irish writers I like: Maeve Binchy, Frank McCourt and James Joyce.
I first became aware of Maeve Binchy after seeing a 1995 movie based on her book, Circle of Friends. Since then, I’ve become acquainted with more of her novels, but my favorite is Heart and Soul, about a heart clinic in Dublin and the people who work there. The best character in this book is Ania, a young Polish girl who rises from a not-so-good background to become a well-loved, hardworking member of the team. The book also contains some unexpected surprises which makes it great fun to read.
As for Frank McCourt, I heard him reading excerpts from his novel Teacher Man on television and was charmed by his hilarious style. Teacher Man describes his experiences teaching at New York high schools, and since one of my relatives is a teacher, I can empathize.
I encountered James Joyce in high school, as I worked my way through Ulysses and A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. He was somewhat tricky to get through due to his writing style, but unexpectedly rewarding at times.
Wherever you are today, I hope you’re enjoying St. Patrick’s Day whether you’re drinking green beverages, eating soda bread or going on a pub crawl. And for your holiday treat, enjoy a bit of Irish music and dance, courtesy of YouTube. (Come on, people. Did you think this day was going to go by without somebody mentioning Riverdance?)