Interview with John Mc Gahern
John Mc Gahern answers Laure Adler's questions with humour. He explains that he writes in English, but that this language is full of Irish rhythms. He also talks about his attraction to French and Italian literature when he was young, and of the mysteries that haunt Irish literature.
If John McGahern (1934-2006) is one of the most famous Irish writers, it would be certainly as much down to the success of his first novel The Barracks (1963), as to the Censorship Act that banned his second novel The Dark (1965), in which he portrays a father abusing his adolescent son.
Moral and religious pressure on the control of Ireland forced him to leave his job as a teacher and immigrate to France, Spain, England and then the United States until 1975. Back in his country, he published several novels, like The Leavetaking (1983), The Pornographer (1979) or That They May Face the Rising Sun (2003), which is set in the rural Ireland and presents an acidic and ironic look on rigid and moral behaviours. The collections Getting Through (1978), High Ground (1985) and Creatures of the Earth (1994) have led to him being considered the contemporary master of the novel.