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The Letters of John McGahern




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Faber & Faber
16 November 2021
I am no good at letters. John McGahern, 1963 John McGahern is consistently hailed as one of the finest Irish writers since James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Those with whom McGahern corresponded include family, friends and literary luminaries such as Seamus Heaney, Colm Toibin, Paul Muldoon, Ian Hamilton and Richard Murphy. This volume collects some of the witty, profound and unfailingly brilliant letters that inform both the intellectual and more prosaic concerns of McGahern, who considered the 'myth of Father John' contrary to his well-travelled life between Ireland, England, the United States and France.

It is one of the major contributions to the study of Irish and British literature of the past thirty years, acting not just as a crucial insight into the life and works of a much-revered writer - but also a history of post-war Irish literature and its close ties to British and American literary life.

'One of the greatest writers of our era.' Hilary Mantel 'McGahern brings us that tonic gift of the best fiction, the sense of truth - the sense of transparency that permits us to see imaginary lives more clearly than we see our own.' John Updike
Edited by:  
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 158mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   1.260kg
ISBN:   9780571326662
ISBN 10:   0571326668
Pages:   880
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John McGahern was born in Dublin in 1934 and brought up in the West of Ireland. He was a graduate of University College, Dublin. He worked as a Primary School teacher and held various academic posts at universities in Britain, Ireland and America. He was the author of six highly acclaimed novels and four collections of short stories, and was the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a Society of Authors Travelling Scholarship, the American-Irish Award, the Prix Etrangere Ecureuil and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and the Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a four-part BBC television series. McGahern died in 2006. Frank Shovlin is Professor of Irish Literature in English at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. He was educated at University College Galway where he took BA and MA degrees before moving on to St John's College, Oxford where he completed his D. Phil. He was a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow for 2018-19 and is working on the authorized biography of John McGahern.

Reviews for The Letters of John McGahern

PRAISE FOR JOHN MCGAHERN One of the finest writers of the twentieth century. -- Hermione Lee Like Heaney, or Patrick Kavanagh, or Raymond Carver, or Joyce, he was able to take the stuff of ordinary lives and create of it the highest art. --Independent There is much to savour. -- Times Magnificent . . . all credit to Shovlin for bringing the artist, neighbour, friend and lover to such brilliant, refracted light. -- Irish Times

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