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John McGahern


John McGahern was born in Dublin in 1934. His father was a police officer and his mother a teacher. His mother died in 1945 and he and his sisters went to live with their father in police barracks. After attending teacher training college, he worked as a teacher, mainly in Dublin, while studying for a university degree. He gave up teaching after the success of his first novel. He left Ireland soon after his second novel was banned because of its theme of a priest’s sexuality. He returned to Ireland in 1974 and lived on a farm in the small town of Mohill till his death in 2006. He is often considered one of the best Irish writers of the period, with his ability to focus both on the ordinary lives of people and the important issues of the day, while illustrating the essential meaninglessness of life, a theme which has had critics comparing him to the French existentialists.

Other links

John McGahern
John McGahern, 1934-2006: A tribute and a conversation
Leavetaking and Homecoming in the writing of John McGahern
John McGahern Library
Painting of John McGahern


1963 The Barracks (novel)
1965 The Dark (novel)
1970 Nightlines (stories)
1974 The Leavetaking (novel)
1978 Getting Through (stories)
1979 The Pornographer (novel)
1985 High Ground and Other Stories (stories)
1990 Amongst Women (novel)
1991 The Power of Darkness (play)
1992 The Collected Stories (stories)
2002 That They May Face the Rising Sun (US: By the Lake) (novel)
2005 Memoir
2006 Creatures of the Earth: New and Selected Stories (stories)
2009 Love of the World (collected non-fiction and essays)