John A. Farrell
Jack Farrell is a Washington, D.C.-based biographer.
Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned, Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century
Listed by The New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 (Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned)
Which one or two American books or plays would you yourself recommend to the foreign leaders?
All the King's Men
The Great Gatsby
Hemingway's short stories
Who in your childhood—for example, parent or teacher—encouraged you to read books, and which one or two books do you remember most fondly?
My mom was a great reader. So was my older sister. The nuns who taught us at St. Patrick's seemed more interested in getting us to obey and be organized than to lose ourselves in literature. But we did have a closet-like "library" at school that contained all the Hardy Boys books, Horatio Hornblower, Lad a Dog books and the like. One of my favorite books was The Lion's Paw, by Robb White. Also, The Once and Future King, by T.H. White.
Which books by writers of the other G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom) have been most important to you as a writer?
Tolkien, Shakespeare, Dickens—cannot beat the mother tongue. There are some pretty good Irish writers, too.