Monday, July 27, 2009

Tobias Wolff Begat Frank McCourt

Link to July 25 New York Times article, "Frank McCourt and the American Memoir".

But the heartland of memoir is still childhood, a place of magically vivid but fragmentary (and often uncheckable) memories that fairly cry out for imaginative reconstruction. While Mr. McCourt had the greater success, it was really Tobias Wolff who in 1989 set the template for the contemporary literary memoir with “This Boy’s Life,” according to Ben Yagoda, a professor at the University of Delaware and the author of a coming history of the memoir.

I agree. "This Boy's Life" is a prime candidate for a library's book-to-movie discussion.

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