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MacLaverty, Bernard

lamb cal novel deals

(British, 1942– )

MacLaverty was born and brought up in Belfast. He worked as a lab technician for ten years before reading English at university and becoming a teacher. He moved to Glasgow after graduation. In his novel Lamb (1980) he deals with the consequences of Ulster's sectarian violence. Brother Sebastian, né Michael Lamb, runs away from a reformatory with a 12-year-old boy, which the press and police regard as kidnap. Lamb sees it as rescuing an abused child, however, and the pressures on Lamb drive the situation to a terrible crisis. Again, in Cal (1983) MacLaverty deals with terrorist violence in the province. Cal, a young man living with his father, is attacked as a member of the only Catholic family on their estate. The novel traces the protagonist's tragic love-affair and the ways in which he becomes embroiled in terrorist activities whilst trying to avoid it at all costs. Cal is a brilliant account of the ways in which the complex political and religious situation in Northern Ireland inevitably enmeshes all its citizens. MacLaverty was short-listed for the Booker Prize for his novel Grace Notes (1997). This is about a young composer, Catherine McKenna, and her relationships with her parents back in Northern Ireland and her daughter in Glasgow as she struggles with depression and the ability to compose.

Glenn Patterson, Ian McEwan, Seamus Deane  CJ

MacLean, Alistair [next] [back] Mackenzie, (Edward Montague) Compton

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