The three writing McCourt brothers – Alphie, the youngest and most recent to publish, joined by his famous brothers Frank and Malachy – will read and perform and sign their books at the Bearsville Theater, February 15, as the keynote to the Woodstock Memoir Festival.
Alphie’s first book, the memoir A Long Stone’s Throw (Sterling and Ross), published in late 2008, has been hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as “a nomadic adventure worthy of Ulysses."
Many believe that the current popularity of memoir began with Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, the poignant, always witty story of an impoverished childhood lived mostly in Ireland. This was followed up with ‘Tis, about Frank’s coming to New York, and Teacher Man, about his years as an extremely popular English and creative writing teacher at New York’s Stuyvesant High.
Many also believe that Frank’s brother, Malachy McCourt, consolidated the memoir trend with two books, A Monk Swimming and Singing My Him Song. After joining Frank in America, Malachy gained fame as a man about Manhattan – barkeep, actor/performer (who also sings) and distinguished author of many books in addition to his memoirs. Three years ago he ran for governor of New York on the Green Party ticket.
The Festival, in partnership with the Guild, was the brainchild of Barry Samuels, co-owner of Woodstock’s celebrated independent bookstore The Golden Notebook. Many local writers helped in the planning, organized by Barry and Authentic Writing Workshop directors Fred Poole and Marta Szabo. They plan to hold The Festival twice a year. It will remain a Woodstock event, although the 2009 summer Woodstock Memoir Festival will be across the Hudson at the famed Omega Institute.