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McGahern, John

stories past short moran

(Irish, 1934– )

McGahern's novels are evocative, slow-paced stories which portray the political and social development of rural Ireland in simple, often poetic prose. Begin with Amongst Women (1990), where the three Moran sisters attempt to re-create the festive Monaghan Day, anxiously evoking, for their father's sake, an idyllic past that never actually existed. As the narrative begins to detail the reality of that past, it develops into a close analysis of family life, centring on the tensions surrounding Moran, a complicated, unhappy man hardened by his experiences as a Republican fighter, and unable to accept responsibility for his difficult relationship with his sons. McGahern is also a prolific writer of short stories. Move on to Getting Through (1978), a diverse, observant collection, and a tolerant consideration of human frailty and love. His very fine Collected Short Stories (1992) is also available.

William Trevor, Bernard MacLaverty, James Joyce. See IRELAND  SR

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