My Holiday Reading: Maureen Kennelly
I will always associate reading Richard Ford with the heat. I have my brother Brendan to thank for introducing me to his work. Several years back I had the pleasure of reading The Sportswriter by a pool in Malta. Brendan uses Ford’s work to teach some of his economics students at NUI Galway, so the battered Flamingo paperback that I’d borrowed from him was a little delicate by that stage. In fact, some pages floated into the pool to be retrieved and later carefully Sellotaped back in. The book arrived home battered enough for me to lay claim to it forever.
Since then I’ve been kept company in Sicily with Independence Day, where the searing heat made the perfect backdrop to Frank Bascombe’s July journey with his son to a basketball and baseball hall of fame. It was back to Malta for The Lay of the Land experience – is this some happy coincidence that Ford’s more recent novels are released into the world more or less as I release myself into freedom and sun?
Last year was the best escape yet with Ford – the untrammelled joy of reading the masterpiece that is Canada happened for me in northern Spain.
As the sun set on the evening of our second day, I read and marvelled at the unforgettable reunion scene between Dell and Berner Parsons.
Holidays set out to renew and restore and free you, and Canada is a book to make you look at life differently.
In conversation with Sara Keating
Maureen Kennelly is curator of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival, which runs until tomorrow