Douglas Kennedy ’76 remembers fellow novelist Maeve Binchy, who died last week after a short illness at the age of 72, in a tribute published in The Irish Times.
Kennedy, whose 10 novels have been translated in 22 countries, writes of the columnist and playwright he met 33 years ago, and the friendship they shared as their respective careers both endured setbacks and enjoyed successes.
“We both had a hatred of perhaps the most specious word in the modern American lexicon: closure,” writes Kennedy. “As Maeve shrewdly noted, ‘Closure is for wardrobes, not for people.’”
“And though she never suffered fools, and hated cruelty and the sort of outward arrogance that always masks larger doubts, what so marked her journalism and her fiction was her implicit understanding that life is, at heart, so unbelievably messy, that we frequently make the wrong calls and engage in absurd acts of self-sabotage, all in the name of pursuing that elusive notion of happiness. But read through Maeve and you also see another overriding theme so central to her work: every life is, in its own way, a novel. As such it has a value and an importance that we must never overlook or underestimate.” Read Kennedy’s column in its entirety.