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Readership: Students and scholars of Irish literature; general readers of John McGahern and literary biographies
After studying literature in University College, Dublin, Denis Sampson moved to Montreal, where he earned a Ph.D. at McGill University. He has lived and worked in Montreal since the 1970s but returns to spend part of each year in Ireland. He is the author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern (1993) and Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist (1998). He also writes personal essays (memoir and travel), book reviews, and literary features, broadcasts on the radio, and gives talks and public lectures.
Review(s) from previous edition"With this engaging biography, Sampson provides a valuable complement to McGahern's own Memoir... written at the end of his life. - J.S. Baggett, CHOICE
"[A] richly detailed literary biography, roughly spanning McGahern's entry into St Patrick's Training College, Dublin (for primary schoolteachers) in 1953 to the publication of The Barracks a decade later." - Richard Robinson, English
"Scrupulously researched by Sampson, with the few gaps ably patched with extrapolations from the author's fiction, Young John McGahern is a serious study of a unique Irish talent's journey from naivety to novelist ... Sampson's intense little volume offers the closest thing that thus far exists to a biography of this beloved writer. For that alone he has earned our attention and our respect." - Val Nolan, Irish Examiner
"informative, well-researched ... [an] absorbing compendium." - Emer O'Kelly, Irish Sunday Independent
"Sampson's undoubted enthusiasm for his subject, which is expressed in an engaging style, allied to the Oxford University Press imprint, makes this a significant addition to McGahern scholarship." - Eamon Maher, Irish Times
"Denis Sampson's new book is a timely reminder of why we should honour this fastidious chronicler of Irish society ... it offers engrossing correspondences between the life of the budding writer and the prose fiction into which his experiences were transmuted." - Irish Independent
"[a] sensitive and subtle exploration of McGahern's upbringing" - The Scotsman
"Sampson is good on the array of literary influences that formed McGahern ... There is excellent use of footnotes and McGahern enthusiasts will rejoice in this addition to the critical scholarship on his work." - Lorraine Courtney, Sunday Times
"An illuminating study" - Patricia Craig, Times Literary Supplement
1: Pleasure and knowledge
2: The vocation
3: 'The years of training in the secret Dublin years'
4: 'Writing all the time'
5: 'Art is solitary man'
6: The character of the local artist
7: 'The End or the Beginning of Love'
8: 'The abiding life'
9: Writing The Barracks