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A literary power trio

June 7, 2011 |  8:27 am

Johnbanville_2005

Where can you see John Banville, Tom McCarthy and Robert Coover together on stage?

In London. Darn.

The three writers are smart, gifted and accomplished. Banville won the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for his novel "The Sea." McCarthy was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2010 for his novel "C." Coover, 79, one of America's leading avant-garde writers, is considered something of a secret to British readers. His books include "Pricksongs and Descants" and "The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop." and he holds a professorship in writing at Brown University.

In a 2009 speech at the University of Pennsylvania, Coover's reading included a section that he called "in anticipation of the question 'why do you write?'" He answered, in part: "Because art's lie is preferable, in truth, to life's beautiful terror. ... Because death, our mirthless master, is somehow amused by epitaphs; epitaphs, well struck, give death, our voracious master, heartburn."

Will Coover and McCarthy and Banville talk about writing? About death, voracious and mirthless? About heartburn?

If you're in London on June 13, you can find out. The literary power trio will appear at King's Place at 7 p.m. Tickets, which cost about $15, are still available.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: John Banville in 2005. Credit: Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images

 

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