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Remembering Peter Hamill

by Sharon Bruni, Public Services Librarian 

I have always loved stories of the immigrant experience, in particular ones in which the narrator provides for us the keen insight of the experience lived in childhood. Peter Hamill’s memoir A Drinking Life has always been one of my favorites, and certainly one of the best memoir’s I have ever read. Peter Hamill was the first-born son of Irish Republican immigrants from Belfast. He was raised in an apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn by a loving mother and absentee father, for whom “part of being a man was to drink.” Peter Hammil’s ability to describe the memories of his childhood full of both beauty and pain are equivalent to Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Frank McCourt’s, Angela’s Ashes. In fact, it was after reading A Drinking Life that McCourt was inspired to write Angela’s Ashes. If you have not read this classic memoir, I recommend reading it this month in honor of this great writer’s life. Thank you, Elizabeth Krebs for putting together this reading list for us.  

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