Go to New York State Writers Institute New York State Writers Institute - McGahern John McGahern03/30/06

John McGahern

November 6, 1996 (Wednesday), 8 p.m.
Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
University at Albany's Uptown Campus

Afternoon Seminar, 4:00 p.m., in Humanities 290

One of the best contemporary writers of English prose, McGahern explores the vagaries of life in his native land, often challenging many of his homeland's conventional social, sexual, and religious values. Julian Moynahan, in the New York Times Book Review calls McGahern, "the most accomplished novelist of his generation."

McGahern's works include the novels The Barracks (1963) which received two of Ireland's most prestigious literary awards, the A E. Memorial Award and the Arts Council Macauley Fellowship; The Dark (1965), which was banned in Ireland for its explicit treatment of sexual and religious subjects; The Leave Taking (1975); The Pornographer (1980); and Amongst Women (1990), which won the "Irish Times" Literary Award. His short story collections include Nightlines (1970), Getting Through (1978), High Ground (1985), and his most recent publication The Collected Stories (1993).

He gave few interviews, however. At a writing seminar in 1996 at the State University of New York at Albany, he said: "Each of us has a private world, and the only difference between the reader and the writer is that the writer has the ability to describe and dramatize that private world. As a writer, I write to see. If I knew how it would end, I wouldn't write. It's a process of discovery." - from New York Times obituary notice