Friday, January 07, 2011

An Author's Authors

Paul Murray, who wrote the well-reviewed and popular Skippy Dies, noted his favorite authors in a 2009 interview. Being Irish, his favorite authors are also Irish but his other favorites are varied. Skippy Dies, his third novel, takes place at an all boys school in contempoary Dublin. The funny, tragic and very moving novel conjures a world of teen angst, sophomoric humor, and social satire. Skippy is such an endearing character, you will warm to him instantly, but be prepared that he dies in the first chapter. Then the story rewinds to show what led up to the fateful day. You will learn something of Irish life, Irish folklore, and quantum physics. Skippy Dies was longlisted for last year's Booker prize and it was included in Time magazine's books of the year, placing third in the fiction section after Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Murrays' favorite authors:

James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, W. B.Yeats, Oscar Wilde
J.D. Salinger, William Gaddis - post-war American novelists
Lorrie Moore - American novelist and short story writer
David Foster Wallace made him want to be a writer when he was in his 20s.
Roland Barthes - French social and literary critic (lots of authors like him)
James Merrill - American poet
Daniel Clowes - American author, screenwriter, and cartoonist
Ali Smith - British novelist and short story writer

Find what is so great about these authors in the Literature Resource Center or Jstor.

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