The Rodney Dangerfield of Belles Lettres

No Respect for John O'Hara
By Richard Carreno
John O'Hara gets no respect. Nothing new about that. O'Hara, Pottsville native, is the Rodney Dangerfield of American belles lettres.

Members of the John O'Hara Society, based in Philadelphia, have been lamenting that forever. Fitzgerald. Hemingway. Even John Updike get the props. O'Hara gets dissed.

The latest instance: Last Sunday in The Philadelphia Inquirer. John Timpane dredges up a story about a 'global' conference of the John Updike Society in Reading. Timpane gets all gushy about Updike being a Pennsylvania author. You mean the guy who spent most of his life in New England.

Sure. O'Hara, America's greatest 20th century short writer, lived most of his life outside of PA, as well. But unlike Updike, PA never left O'Hara.

Timpane notes fan groups for Mark Twain and Hemingway. Never a mention of the John O'Hara Society.

That's not new, as well.

I've been interviewed by at least two Inquirer reporters. Nothing ever gets in print.
  As always, John O'Hara gets no respect.

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