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John McGahern
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John McGahern

Born in 1934, John McGahern was the eldest of seven children, raised on a farm in the West of Ireland. The son of a Garda sergeant who had served as an IRA volunteer in the Irish War of Independence, he was devastated by his mother’s death when he was nine. An outstanding student, McGahern studied at University College Dublin and became a teacher, but was dismissed when his controversial second novel, The Dark, was banned by the Irish Censorship Board. He moved to London to continue writing and met his future wife, Madeline Green, in 1967, with whom he remained until his death in 2006. The author of six acclaimed novels and four story collections, his novel Amongst Women, was shortlisted for the 1990 Booker Prize and made into a BBC TV series. McGahern held numerous academic posts internationally and was awarded honours including the Irish-American Foundation Award, an Irish PEN Award, the Prix Ecureuil de Littérature Etrangère and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. On his death in 2006, McGahern was celebrated by The Guardian as ‘the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett.’

Books by John McGahern