John McGahern

John McGahern

John McGahern (12 November 1934 – 30 March 2006) was an Irish author.


Born in Dublin, McGahern spent his childhood in the parish of Aughawillan near Ballinamore, County Leitrim [,-7.724075&spn=0.042499,0.1157&z=13] until his mother, who was the local primary school teacher, died. He was educated by the Presentation Brothers.The family then moved to Cootehall, County Roscommon to live with their father who was a Garda sergeant in the village. After graduating from St. Patrick's College of Education (Drumcondra), he began his career as a schoolteacher at Scoil Eoin Báiste (Belgrove) primary school in Clontarf where, for a period, he taught the eminent academic Declan Kiberd before turning to writing full-time.

McGahern's novel "The Dark" was banned in Ireland for its alleged pornographic content and implied clerical sexual abuse. In the controversy over this he was forced to resign his teaching post. He subsequently moved to England where he worked in a variety of jobs before returning to Ireland to live and work on a small farm in Fenagh in County Leitrim, located halfway between Ballinamore and Mohill.

He died from cancer in the Mater Hospital in Dublin on 30 March 2006, aged 71. He is buried in St Patrick's Church Aughawillan alongside his mother.


His best known book is "Amongst Women", the story of Michael Moran, an IRA veteran of the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, who now dominates his family in the unforgiving farmlands of Monaghan. The book is remarkable for its detailed and understanding portrayal of a hardened, and unapologetically idealistic protagonist. An ex-IRA commander, Moran detests the 'small-minded gangsters' who now run the country for which he fought. Though Moran's presence surely dominates the novel, the positive attributes of his stern moralism (Moran doesn't touch alcohol, for one) and sense of self-worth are passed on to his children, who become successful adults (both emotionally and financially) in both Dublin and London. His final novel "That They May Face the Rising Sun" (published in the United States as "By the Lake") is an elegiac portrait of an Irish village. Lyrically written, it explores the meaning in prosaic lives. McGahern is also considered a master of the Irish tradition of the short story.

McGahern was a member of the Irish Arts honorary organization Aosdána and won many other awards (including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil). He taught at universities in the United States, Canada, England, and Ireland. In 1991, he received an honorary doctorate of Trinity College, Dublin. His work has influenced a younger generation of writers, such as Colm Tóibín. Some of his works have been translated into Japanese and other languages.

McGahern is generally thought to have exhausted the tradition of rural Irish modernism, although many younger writers continue to copy his detached and knowing style.


* [ List for John McGahern's Literary Archive at National University of Ireland,Galway]



*"The Barracks" (1963) AE Memorial Award, McCauley Fellowship.
*"The Dark" (1965)
*"The Leavetaking" (1975)
*"The Pornographer" (1980)
*"Amongst Women" (1990), Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literary Award (1991), GPA Award (1992), nominated for the Booker Prize (1990).
*"That They May Face the Rising Sun" (2001), Irish Novel of the Year (2003), nominated for the IMPAC Award. Published in the USA under the title "By the Lake" (2002)Non-Fiction

*"Memoir" (2005). Published in the U.S.A. in 2006 under the title "All Will Be Well".

Short Story Collections
*"Nightlines" (1970)
*"Getting Through" (1978)
*"High Ground" (1985)
*"The Collected Stories" (1992), includes the three previous volumes of short stories (some of the stories appear in a slightly different form) and two additional stories - 'The Creamery Manager' and 'The Country Funeral'. The former first appeared in "Krina" (1989).
*"Creatures of the Earth: New and Selected Stories" (2006) contains several stories collected in "The Collected Stories", here revised by McGahern for the last time. Again two new stories, 'Creatures of the Earth' and 'Love of the World', are included.

*"Sinclair" (1971) (radio)
*"Swallows" (1975) (television)
*"The Rockingham Shoot" (1987) (television)
*"The Power of Darkness" (1991) (theatre)


"Amongst Women" was filmed as a television mini-series in 1998, directed by Tom Cairns, and starring Tony Doyle as Moran.

One of McGahern's best-known short stories, "Korea", was made into a feature film of the same name directed by Cathal Black and produced by Darryl Collins in 1995. In 1996 "Korea" won the Asta Nielsen Best Film Award at the Copenhagen Film Festival and was runner-up for the Audience Prize at the Seattle Film Festival.

External Links

* [ Irish writers online profile]
* [ Faber and Faber] - John McGahern's UK publisher
* [ of John McGahern]
* [ of John McGahern]
* [ Note on recent death]
* [,0,6868798.story?track=rss Newsday interview]
* [ Irish quarterly review Interview]
* [,6000,628040,00.html Guardian Interview]
* [ Faber reading guide for Amongst Women]
* [ Faber reading guide for 'That They May Face the Rising Sun']

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • John McGahern — (* 12. November 1934 in Dublin; † 30. März 2006 ebenda) war ein irischer Schriftsteller. Seine Bücher sind in englischer Sprache verfasst. Einige seiner Werke wurden ins Deutsche übersetzt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Verfilmungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John McGahern — est un écrivain irlandais (12 novembre 1934 30 mars 2006). Né à Dublin, il grandit dans l ouest de l Irlande et fut diplômé de l University College de Dublin. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Memoir (John McGahern book) — Memoir   Author(s) John McGahern Country …   Wikipedia

  • Memoir (John McGahern Book) — Infobox Book name = Memoir image caption = Cover of first hardback edition author = John McGahern illustrator = cover artist = country = Republic Of Ireland language = English publisher = Faber and Faber release date = 2005 media type = Print… …   Wikipedia

  • McGahern — John McGahern (* 12. November 1934 in Dublin; † 30. März 2006 ebenda) war ein irischer Schriftsteller. Seine Bücher sind in englischer Sprache verfasst. Leben McGahern wurde in Dublin geboren, verbrachte seine Kindheit jedoch auf dem Land, zuerst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • McGahern — This name, with variant spelling McGawran, McGa(g)hran, McGarran, Magerchrane and McGaher(a)n, is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic (Irish) Mac Eachrain. The Gaelic prefix mac means son of , plus the personal byname Eachrain , containing the… …   Surnames reference

  • McGahern —   [mə gæən], John, irischer Schriftsteller, * Dublin 12. 11. 1934; Lehrer, wurde nach dem Verbot (in Irland) seines international viel beachteten Romans »The dark« (1965; deutsch »Das Dunkle«) aus dem Schuldienst entlassen, was eine öffentliche… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • McGahern, John — ▪ 2007       Irish novelist and short story writer (b. Nov. 12, 1934, Dublin, Ire. d. March 30, 2006, Dublin), was noted for his depictions of Irish men and women constricted and damaged by the conventions of their native land, his keen… …   Universalium

  • The Dark (McGahern novel) — Infobox Book | name = The Dark image caption = First edition cover author = John McGahern cover artist = country = Republic Of Ireland language = English genre = Novel publisher = Faber and Faber release date = 1965 media type = Print (hardback,… …   Wikipedia

  • Amongst Women — Infobox Book | name = Amongst Women image caption = 1st edition hardback cover of Amongst Women author = John McGahern cover artist = Sam McConnell country = Ireland language = English genre = Novel publisher = Faber and Faber release date = 1990 …   Wikipedia

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