Doyle Redmond, the chief character in GIVE US A KISS, is an educated ‘hillbilly’ (an intimate term like ‘Paddy’ which Ozarkers resent on the lips of outsiders) who deliberately damps down his vocabulary when at home. And while Doyle is a novelist he’s also someone the Kansas police want to talk to.Woodrell is not only the senator’s favourite crime novelist, he’s his favourite novelist, full stop.
But when Doyle holes up in a shack in the Ozarks he lovingly lays out “the books I never left behind, and made any crap hole I landed in home to me”. Look at the list and you will see why Woodrell should be accorded an honorary status as an Irish writer -- or at least an Irish reader.
“There were a couple of Elizabeth Bowen novels, a quartet by Edward Lewis Wallant, one volume of Pierce Egan’s Boxiana, The Williamsburg Trilogy by Daniel Fuchs, Carson McCullers’s oeuvre, a stack of Twain, a batch of Erskine Caldwell’s thin li’l wonders, some Liam O’Flaherty and John McGahern and Grace Paley and Faulkner, all of Chandler, and a copy of Jim Harrison’s A Good Day to Die.”
That, it’s fair to say, is not something I might have expected to hear from an Irish senator in my lifetime. For the rest of the piece, clickety-click here.
Senator Harris is in for a treat this September, because the great Daniel Woodrell will be appearing at the Mountains to Sea Literary Festival in Dun Laoghaire, on Sunday September 9th at 4.30pm.
I’m delighted to say that your humble host will be reading alongside Daniel Woodrell - and that, it’s fair to say, is not something I might have expected to hear from myself in my lifetime. Arts journalist and broadcaster Sinead Gleeson will be playing the genial host, and already it’s shaping up to be one of the highlights of my year. For more information, and booking, etc., clickety-click here.
Finally, and while we’re on the subject of the Mountains to Sea Festival, I’ll be hosting a crime writing workshop on Saturday, September 8th, during which I will “guide participants through the principles of good crime writing and will talk about the particular nuances of this popular form and explore the craft of the genre, outlining the elements that comprise a compelling novel.”
Of course, I could just tell you now to read Daniel Woodrell’s entire canon and achieve pretty much the same result. But where’s the fun in that?