Aspen Writers’ Foundation annual Lit Fest offers five days of words and ideas

Staff Report
Edna O'Brien, author of "The Country Girls" and "Down by the River," will offer her thoughts on writing during the "Women on Words" author conversation takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation, presenter of the Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival, has announced a lineup change for its 29th annual event, Sunday through Thursday.

A medical emergency will prevent “Angela’s Ashes” author Frank McCourt from attending the festival at the Hotel Jerome. Malachy McCourt ” Irish actor, playwright, columnist, comedian and international best-selling author ” will stand in for his brother at the annual Lit Fest.

“We are saddened to learn of Frank McCourt’s news, and of course, disappointed that he won’t be able to greet his many fans in Aspen,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. “The silver lining is that Malachy will be joining us instead. Aspen has a treat in store with the arrival of this passionate, witty, irreverent and charming teller of tales, who promises to tell stories on his brother.”

Malachy is the author of eight nonfiction books, including his best-selling memoir “A Monk Swimming” and its sequel, “Singing My Him Song.” The author is heralded as a true original with savage humor and a gift for storytelling who makes “the English language do tricks the British never intended.” His self-effacing humor takes shape in the biography he penned for his Web site,

“Frank thought that I was gettin’ too big a head and that the atmosphere in Aspen, which is rarefied, would reduce me to size,” he said. “His first thought for an ebullient Irish replacement was Henry Kissinger, but he wasn’t available.”

Along with his brother, Malachy co-wrote the play “A Couple of Blaguards,” which has been produced in the U.S. and abroad. His extensive acting credits include the stage, screen and television, where he was a semiregular on “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar and Merv Griffin.

Malachy will participate in two events at Aspen Summer Words. He headlines the gala dinner at 7 p.m. Wednesday and will be a guest at the Irish Author Salon, a historic evening of storytelling featuring eight Irish writers at 7 p.m. Thursday.

A “Women on Words” author conversation event with a group the foundation is calling “the holy trinity of contemporary female Irish writers,” featuring Edna O’Brien, Polly Devlin and Nuala O’Faolain, takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hotel Jerome.

Tickets for the gala dinner, starting at $100, are available by calling the Aspen Writers’ Foundation at 925-3122, ext. 3. Tickets for the Irish Author Salon are $20 at the Wheeler Box Office. More information is available at

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