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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Reconnecting to our family stories

“To understand and reconnect with our stories, the stories of the ancestors, is to build our identities.   We all belong to an ancient identity. Stories are the rivers that take us there.” – Frank Delaney

Delaney, born on this date in 1942, was an Irish novelist, journalist and broadcaster noted for his attention to the basics and basis of writing and writing style.  Among his many best sellers were Ireland, and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea.  Delaney died in 2017.

A great essayist, Delaney’s work was published in many of the leading newspapers in the United States, the UK and Ireland, including on the Op-ed pages of The New York Times.  He was a frequent public speaker and a contributor and guest on a variety of National Public Radio programs.  Also recipient of many awards and accolades for his adaptations to radio and television, he said he thought the best novels were those that could also be “heard.”      If you need proof of how the oral relates to the written,” he said,  “consider that many great novelists, including Joyce and Hemingway, never submitted a piece of work without first reading it aloud.”

When asked who he most admired as an author, he said American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The Great Gatsby . . . remains the most perfect novel that has ever come out of the United States,” he said.  “Everything in the book moves as it should, in the manner of a musical piece by Bach or Mozart.” 

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