O'Hara's admiration for Fitzgerald's first novel This Side of Paradise is well documented -- he fell in love with the book, that's how he put it. It's not surprising to find Fitzgerald the author he had to copy, and try to surmount.
Long pause. Then Foster looked them in the eyes, her voice still strong, still perspiring, and made her last-ditch pitch. "This is the smartest thing I've ever come up with to do. It's my life; it's all that I do," she said. "Right now, I'm homeless." You could've heard a pin drop.
Not long ago, I received a response to a letter I wrote to a stranger in Ireland -- in 1984. Making the experience more peculiar still is the fact that the gentleman I contacted had passed away in 1990. Perhaps I should explain.
A conference to be held in July in Tuam, County Galway, will feature a commemoration of the life and career of Governor Hugh L. Carey, whose grandparents emigrated from that part of Ireland to settle in Brooklyn in the 1880s.
Whether it was the famine or political and religious persecution that brought these Irish families to America, as described on the tour, they were met with much discrimination -- one of which is reflected in their housing and economic opportunity.
As with the Irish in the United States in the 20th century, new immigrants today will write much of the history of this country in the 21st. Names such as "Santorum," "Romney" and "Gingrich," like those of their forebears in 1842 in New York, will have been forgotten.
I had to ask. How did the Irish get the reputation for being such heavy drinkers? Even my own father is derisive about it, and he's where my Irish heritage comes from. Malachy McCourt has a theory. (I knew he would.)