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John Banville

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John Banville and The Infinities

“I say the most outrageous things in interviews,” declares John Banville. Like Hermes, the Greek god who narrates his new novel, The Infinities, the celebrated Irish author has quite a mischievous streak.

John Banville

When John Banville won the Booker Prize last month for The Sea, the occasion brought out the worst in his critics. In and of itself, the novel should hardly be controversial — it’s a 65,000-word meditation on aging and mortality, beautifully narrated by a man who reflects on his childhood and the recent death of his wife. But in a year when luminaries like Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, and Zadie Smith also published novels, an underrated and unfashionable Irish writer was bound to encounter invective.