“You can sense the volumes of Joyce, Beckett and Nabokov on Banville’s shelves.”Tibor Fischer on Banville
The Blue Guitar is a story of theft and the betrayal of friendship:
Oliver Orme used to be a painter, well known and well rewarded, but the muse has deserted him. He is also, as he confesses, a petty thief; he does not steal for gain, but for the thrill of it. HIs worst theft is Polly, the wife of his friend Marcus, with whom he has had an affair. When the affair is discovered, Oliver hides himself away in his childhood home. From here he tells the story of a year, from one autumn to the next. Many surprises and shocks await him, and by the end of his story, he will be forced to face himself and seek a road towards redemption.
Sometimes, in the middle of the afternoon if I’m feeling a little bit sleepy, Black will sort of lean in over Banville’s shoulder and start writing. Or Banville will lean over Black’s shoulder and say, “Oh that’s an interesting sentence, let’s play with that.” I can see sometimes, revising the work, the points at which one crept in or the two sides seeped into each otherBanville on Banville
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He was educated at Christian Brothers Schools and St. Peter’s College, Wexford. He worked in journalism from 1969. He was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999. Banville had worked across many forms and won acclaim for his screenplays, radio and TV work. His first novel, Nightspawn, came out in 1971. Subsequent novels include Kepler (1980), Athena (1995), Eclipse (2000), The Sea (2005), and The Infinities (2010). His non-fiction book, Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City, was published in 2003.Among the awards John Banville’s novels have won are the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction, the Premio Nonino. He has also received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation in the U.S. He won the Man Booker Prize 2005 for The Sea.