Please join us on Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Beinecke Library as author James McCourt reads from his new memoir, Lasting City: The Anatomy of Nostalgia. A conversation with the author will follow.
McCourt's first novel, Mawrdew Czgowchwz, was brought into print through the recommendation of Susan Sontag and his moving novel, Time Remaining, is included in Harold Bloom's influential The Western Canon.
Enjoined by his dying mother to "tell everything," James McCourt was liberated by this deathbed wish to do just that. The result is Lasting City, a gripping, uniquely McCourt invention: an operatic recollection that braids a nostalgic portrait of old-Irish New York with a boy’s funny, gutter-snipe precocity and hardly innocent coming-of-age in the 1940s and '50s. A literary outlaw in the poetic tradition of Verlaine and Baudelaire, McCourt tells his own story, his mother's, his family's, and that of a lost New York, the lasting city. While ostensibly an account of the author's first seven years, Lasting City expands into a philosophical exploration of memory, perhaps as daring a statement on perception as anything since Faulkner—a kaleidoscopic unraveling of time.