Irish March returnsIrish March, my annual Irish-literature month, really snuck up on me this year. Usually I have several books planned in advance, but until this week I had almost completely forgotten about it, so once I realized March was fast approaching I had to scramble. Fortunately, being a huge fan of the prolific William Trevor means I always have several unread books of his in the house, so I'll finally read his story collection Cheating at Canasta, which was the last book I bought at Brent Books before it closed for good in 2009. Scanning my shelves, I also found Samuel Beckett's play Endgame, which I will also read. But knowing the Trevor and Beckett probably won't take me a full month to read, I realized I needed a third book but nothing immediately came to mind.
I browsed through my to-read list on Goodreads and finally saw J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man (which I picked up in a used bookstore in Hilton Head two years ago) and was drawn to the Irish surname, but wasn't sure if either the author or the subject matter was particularly Irish. Thus I was quite pleased to discover that although Donleavy was born in New York City, his parents were Irish emigrants and he resettled in Ireland after WWII, and the book is set in Ireland (and is even considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th Century). And it was once banned in both Ireland and the U.S. for obscenity, so it will more than likely be an entertaining read. So this year, Irish March will be Trevor, Donleavy and Beckett. Looking forward to it.