The Sunday Salon: Celebrating St. Patrick’s with Irish Literature

My Irish heritage is almost purely nominal at this point, overwhelmed by it is by the centuries since my Irish ancestor realized she could ditch Ireland for the New World and the whole “mostly French” thing. But such things are mere technicalities when you’re named after an Irish county, turn ruddy in the sun, and the only drink you like is Bailey’s: I gladly and loudly declaim I’m an Irishwoman as much as I declaim my status as a French kid. So, in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day (when everyone else joins me in being Irish), I thought I’d highlight a few things you can read (or watch!) to celebrate the Emerald Isle.

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Page to Screen: The Last September (1999)

The Last September
based on The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen

I was not exactly looking forward to The Last September. My track record with the rest of the Irish films I was assigned last summer wasn’t the greatest, and the Netflix reviews (yeah, this was a while ago!) were mostly along the lines of “great cast, boring movie”. But it was on the list and it had Maggie Smith in it, so I put it on one evening just to get it out of the way. And then I was absolutely enthralled. I love it when that happens.

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Review: The Last September

The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen

I committed a bibliophilic sin, ladies and gentlemen—I watched the movie before I read the book. To be fair, I had no idea the book existed when I watched the film last summer, which was on a list of recommended films for my Ireland trip. (I’m getting dangerously close to the two weeks and a half of posts I need to schedule while I’m away. Challenge accepted.) I really need to research these things a little more thoroughly. But in any case, I watched Deborah Warner’s amazing film before the Elizabeth Bowen novel it was based upon, which colored my reading. Hence the reason it’s a bibliophilic sin, I suppose. (The review of the film will be going up sometime in March. I apparently now only watch movies based on books…)

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