All Will Be Well: A Memoir
An interesting critical discourse arises from Irish writer John McGahern's new memoir. Reviewers who don't count it among his best write as if they've been cheated. By allowing readers a peek behind his fictional scrim, they feel McGahern, who died this past March, at age 71, handicapped their enjoyment of his well-regarded novels by revealing his emotional mother lode of sources. The majority of critics disagreed with that assessment, casting All Will Be Well as a fascinating glimpse into "the...more
If you've read McGahern before, you'll already know his territory — the fields and rivers, the villages and bogs. And you'll know both the subtlety and the plainness of the people who live here, on the border of County Leitrim and County Roscommon. If you haven't read McGahern before, this is a good place to start, at the heart of a lyric grief and an embittering passion.
The grief is for his mother, a teacher who died of cancer when McGahern, the oldest child in his oddly sorted family, was stil...more
Memoir is the centrepiece of the jigsaw McGahern has had us put together thr...more
Having said that, it is predominantly the story of his childhood, with a relatively small part of the book dedicated to his years as an adult, up to the time of his father's death.
That he would end the book with his father's passing makes sense,since this is basically the story of McGahern's troubled relationship with his father.
McGahern senior was a Garda sergeant living in Police barracks as was normal at that time (the 1...more
I love the fluency with which McGahern describes his physical world. The sense of place is very strong, an...more
McGahern's novel 'The Dark' was banned in Ireland for its alleged pornographic content and implied clerical sexual abuse. In the controversy over this he was forced to resign his teach...more