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First-Time Author, 98, Learned to Read at 91

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By HVnews on March 6, 2012

We may have found Colin Firth’s next Oscar-winning role: Captain James Henry, a lifelong fisherman living in Mystic, Connecticut, who couldn’t sign his own name for 91 years — then met a retired high school English teacher who taught him to read and helped him pen a book of stories.

On his wife’s deathbed, Henry promised her he would learn how to read. After a year of tutoring, Henry was scribbling down tales on a yellow legal pad. His tutor, Mark Hogan, worked with him on his autobiography, titled In a Fisherman’s Language, published by Fowler Road Press.

“I said, ‘My God, he’s got 25 or 30 stories here,'” Hogan told NBC Connecticut. “And he said, ‘We oughta make a book out of it,’ and I said, ‘Yeah. why not.'”

View more videos at: http://nbcconnecticut.com.

“He was very willing to do this thing, but he had his own prejudices against things like punctuation, apostrophes — he called them butterflies,” Hogan said. Cormac McCarthy, are you out there? You can meet this guy and spend the day talking about how those ugly little marks on the page really get in the way.


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