John McGahern (12 November 1934 – 30 March 2006) is regarded as one of the most important Irish writers of the latter half of the twentieth century.
Known for the intrinsic and precise dissection of Irish life found in works such as The Barracks, The Dark and Amongst Women, The Observer hailed him as "the greatest living Irish novelist" before his death in 2006.
Born in the townland of Knockanroe about half a mile from Ballinamore, County Leitrim, John McGahern was the eldest child of seven. His mother brought up the family on a small farm which she ran with outside help as she was also the local primary school teacher. His father lived some 20 miles away in the police barracks at Cootehall in County Roscommon. He was the Garda sergeant of the village. When John was around nine or ten his mother became ill with cancer and died.
The family then moved to Cootehall to live with their father. John completed his primary schooling there, and won a scholarship to the Presentation Brothers secondary school in Carrick-on-Shannon. He travelled there daily and again won the county scholarship in his Leaving Certificate enabling him to continue his education to third level...
Quotes by John McGahern
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