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The Family Business

The Family Business is many things: journal of a frustrated young writer and lover; portrait of bohemian social life in Dublin and a vivid snapshot of a generation of writers emerging from the wreckage left by Behan and others; intimate history of the rising Catholic middle-class and of a family (and its business -- shoes) in flux. Kenny writes this autobiography with the eye and ear of a novelist, evoking a time, a place, and a welter of emotions through vividly remembered scenes, snippets of dialogue, and small epiphanies. Unlike most memoirs that place so much weight on the act of remembering itself and are thus more about the writer's present than his past, this book has the immediacy of a diary and an almost excruciating honesty about his flirtations with homosexuality and heterosexual misadventures. It is, above all, an extraordinarily accomplished piece of writing.
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