William John Banville (born 8 December 1945), who writes as John Banville and sometimes as Benjamin Black, is an Irish novelist, adapter of dramas, and screenwriter. He is recognised for his precise, cold, forensic prose style, Nabokovian inventiveness, and for the dark humour of his generally arch narrators. His stated ambition is to give his prose "the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has".
Someone by the name of Benjamin Black has recently published a pair of entertaining novels - Christine Falls and The Silver Swan - about an atmospheric and cigarette-fumigated Dublin in the 1950s (with a third, The Lemur, serialized in the NYT magazine). Perhaps the quirkiest plot twist in each book was the inclusion of a picture of John Banville on the dust cover, followed by this explanation: Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. ... [read post]