Young John McGahernDenis Sampson
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[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 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 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, The Sunday Times An illuminating study Patricia Craig, Times Literary Supplement Sampsons critical sophistication and sensitivity to influence and intertextual reference are unparalleled ... As an account of literary development, Young John McGahern is forensic in its attention to detail; in its focus on the secret Dublin years, it also places McGahern in a cultural context other than the remote parochialism of most familiar works. In this, it is a timely contribution to McGahern studies. Niamh Campbell, Irish Studies Review