Patrick McGinley Biography
(1937– ), Bogmail, Goosefoot, Foggage, The Bed Men, The Devil's Diary
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Harriet Martineau Biography to John McTaggart (John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart) Biography
Irish novelist, born in Donegal; he was educated at Galway University and spent several years teaching in Ireland before moving to London where he took up a career as a publisher. His first novel, Bogmail (1978), centred on the hard-drinking philosophers of his home country and was much admired for its earthiness and exuberant language. Its successor, Goosefoot (1982), marked an ambitious development, being the story of a young girl's life told from her point of view. Notable among later works are Foggage (1984) and The Bed Men (1987), in which eccentric, weird, and sometimes violent events, usually located in rural Ireland, are related with rapacious audacity and the blackest of humour. The Devil's Diary (1988) is a novel set in contemporary rural Ireland and centres on the conflict between a priest and a property developer whose plans threaten the local culture and landscape. The Lost Soldier's Song (1994), whose innocent protagonist joins the IRA during the Irish War of Independence and emerges with his ideals shattered, presents a bleak vision of brutality and inhumanity on both sides of the conflict.