Like a Hand on the Shoulder…

Posted: August 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Illusory Promise

Always a pleasure to engage with the work of the late John McGahern. Here’s a recent piece I wrote for the Irish Examiner on the newest edition of his Collected Stories

John McGahern - Collected Stories John McGahern – Collected Stories

Collected Stories
John McGahern
Faber; £10.99
Review: Val Nolan

Even in death, John McGahern remains Ireland’s greatest living writer. A strange thing to say, perhaps, but then, as an author known for decade-long silences, it does not feel as if he has truly left us. We might have expected a new novel from him by now if he were still alive but, in place of that, comes this reminder that he is in fact gone. It provokes sadness, yes, but also gratitude for the powerful work which he gifted us in the time available to him.

Famously, McGahern believed that Ireland was less a coherent state than a mosaic of ‘little republics called families’. Something…

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