Harp

John Gregory Dunne, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (235p) ISBN 978-0-671-68852-3
Dunne identifies four stages of the Irish-American experience: immigrant, outcast, assimilated, deracinated. Growing up in Hartford, Conn., the Irish Catholic author who would one day write True Confessions felt like a social outcast, a ``harp'' among WASPs whom he pejoratively called ``Yanks.'' After being drafted into the army, this ``quintessential Princeton prig'' shed some of his snobbery, likewise his shame over his Irish roots. His marriage to Joan Didion, an Episcopalian, brought hate mail. By the end of this mordant, defiant, raunchy, sarcastic memoir--a mix of self-revelation, travel sketches, ruminations--Dunne is proudly searching for his great-grandfather's identity in the parish records of an Irish village. Along the way there are profiles of his relatives; an account of his heart surgery; reflections on the writer as permanent outsider; stories about the army, whores, a murder trial, deaths of loved ones and much else. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 235 pages - 978-0-671-72514-3
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