Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Mc-Pa)

McGrath, Patrick

house head forces asylum

(British, 1950– )

The son of a former head psychiatrist at an asylum, Patrick McGrath made his name with Grotesque (1989), a blend of the traditional country house mystery and contemporary horror. Centred on the unsettling events that surround the arrival of a new butler at a run-down manor, where the head of the house is busy reconstructing a dinosaur skeleton, the book was quickly labelled ‘New Gothic’. Dr Haggard's Disease (1993) recounts a passionate love-affair whose end appears to have physically poisoned the narrator, and Asylum (1996) is set in the 1950s, at a bleak mental hospital where dark secrets and strange forces seem to be at work. McGrath's fiction is exquisitely crafted, and his novels present a veneer of civilized traditional story-telling beneath which chaotic and disturbing forces quickly make themselves felt. Blood and Water (1988) is a collection of stories, and a good introduction to his work.

Ian McEwan; Rachel Ingalls  WB

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