Synopses & Reviews
These thiry-four funny, tragic, tender and acerbic stories represent the complete short fiction of the finest Irish writer since Joyce and Beckett. With fierce honesty, plainspoken lyricism, and an unerring feel for the knotty texture of everyday life, John McGahern circumnavigates a world that seems to have stopped on Easter 1916 a world in which sons strive to gain the blessings of unyielding fathers and youngsters grapple with the mysteries of sex while grown men and women are reduced to children as they try and fail to possess or even understand one another. The Collected Stories of John McGahern are as beautiful as the Irish landscape and as heartbreaking as Ireland's history.
"The best Irish short-story writer since James Joyce." USA Today
"[McGahern] may well be Ireland's finest living fiction writer....[His] stories are well-wrought acts of the imagination that fill the heady space between prayer and song." Boston Globe
"A master of the clean, plain, powerful description...brilliant." The New York Times Book Review
"There is more resonance in McGahern's prose, more richness of character and setting, than will be found in a shelf of what passes for 'smart' writing nowadays....He allows us to eavesdrop on the muted words and ambiguous gestures that amount to a secret code of the human soul." Los Angeles Times
"McGahern's stories might be to contemporary Irish culture what Raymond Carver's are to ours." Washington Post Book World
"[E]xtraordinary....Although McGahern returns again and again to the same themes...he does so with an impressive and sometimes surprising range of characters..." Publishers Weekly
"Master storyteller McGahern (Amongst Women, LJ 8/90) evokes place and feeling with lyrical prose that imbues his stories with a sweet melancholy. Full of insight....Highly recommended." Library Journal
These 34 funny, tragic, bracing, and acerbic stories represent the complete short fiction of one of Ireland's finest living writers. On struggling farms, in Dublin's rain-drenched streets, or in parched exile in Franco's Spain, McGahern's characters wage a confused but touching war against the facts of life.
About the Author
John McGahern was the author of five highly acclaimed novels and four collections of short stories. His novel Amongst Women won the GPA Book Award and the Irish Times Award, was short-listed for the Booker Prize, and was made into a four-part BBC television series. He had been a visiting professor at Colgate University and at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and was the recipient of the Society of Authors' Award, the American-Irish Award, and the Prix Étrangère Ecureuil, among other awards and honors. His work appeared in anthologies and was translated into many languages. He died in 2006.