Thursday, September 22, 2016

The outsider …

… The Eavesdropper’s Secret: On John O’Hara - The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Pottsville, Pennsylvania, when O’Hara was born, in 1905, was the prosperous commercial center of Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. His father was a successful and respected physician there, and the family belonged to the country-club, horse-riding gentry. Yet, because he was Irish and Catholic, O’Hara felt himself to be an outsider, and all his life, even after he had become wealthy and famous, he retained an outsider’s neediness and sullen defensiveness. His face was pressed against a glass that sometimes wasn’t there.

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