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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.This volume collects some of the witty, profound and unfailingly brilliant letters that he exchanged with family, friends and literary luminaries – such as Seamus Heaney, Colm Tóibín and Paul Muldoon – over the course of a well-travelled life.
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
There is much to savour.
Magnificent . . . all credit to Shovlin for bringing the artist, neighbour, friend and lover to such brilliant, refracted light.
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