He is a founding member of the Order of Finnegans, [3] which takes its name from a pub in Dalkey , Ireland , although there are those who believe it also comes from James Joyce’s last novel, Finnegans Wake . The knights of the Order of Finnegans must venerate James Joyce’s novel Ulysses and, if possible, attend Bloomsday each year in Dublin on the sixteenth of June. This is a long day that culminates, at dusk, at the Martello tower in Sandycove (where the novel begins) with participants reading sections from Ulysses and then walking to Finnegans pub in the neighbouring village of Dalkey.

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the publication of Toni Morrison’s masterpiece Beloved , a novel about a woman who kills her own child rather than let her be swallowed by slavery, and who is haunted by that decision in more ways than one. Beloved is widely recognized as one of the greatest American novels ever written—it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 (it was nominated for, but did not win, the National Book Award, a slight that forty-eight writers and critics protested with a letter in The New York Times ), as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award, the Melcher Book Award, the Lyndhurst Foundation Award, and the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award. In 2006, The New York Times found it to be the best novel written in the previous 25 years.