The following essay was first published in Antipodes, June 2013, Vol. 27, No.1

Many thanks to the editors.

On the Trail of John McGahern

Photo of John McGahern, former Augawhillan Primary School

Several years ago, a friend, who is a writer, suggested that I should read John McGahern. At that stage I wasn’t aware of his short stories and novels, and so I was immediately interested in an Irish writer who lived in the country, wrote about farmers and the Catholic Church. My familial connections to Ireland date back to convicts transported to Australia in the 1820s on my mother’s side of the family, and to a free settler, John Ryan who emigrated to Australia in the 1850s from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on my father’s side. An Irish sensibility to language, storytelling and humour were a part of the air that I breathed as a child. My paternal grandfather was known as Shine Ryan. One of the few books in our house was Around the Boree Log by John O’Brien. Growing up in the south-west of Victoria, I was familiar with many typical Irish names: Gleesons, Kennedys, O’Briens, Moloneys, Gavins etc. The potato fields of Tower Hill and Koroit are a direct connection to an Irish landscape of rolling hills, narrow lanes and small farms. The names of people buried in the Tower Hill cemetery are further testament to the influence of the Irish. When I first read John McGahern’s fiction it was as though I was getting back in touch with an uncle.

            McGahern achieved infamy and notoriety in Ireland in the 1960s when his second novel, The Dark, was banned in Ireland. Shortly after, McGahern was sacked from his teaching position in Dublin. The “McGahern affair” caused a stir in Ireland, not only because of the so called “dirty book” but also because McGahern married a Finnish theatre director, Annikki Laaksi in a foreign registry office. Such offences against the traditions and customs of Catholic Ireland could not be tolerated. An official from the Irish Teacher’s Union commented to McGahern at the time: ‘If it was just the auld book, maybe – maybe –  we might have been able to do something for you, but with marrying this foreign woman you have turned yourself into a hopeless case entirely.’ (Memoir 251) After his dismissal as a teacher, McGahern moved to England to teach, and then later he taught at Colgate University in New York. In 1974, he bought a farm in County Leitrim and returned to live and write there with his second wife, Madeline Green.

            The first McGahern book that I read was Amongst Women, his Booker Prize shortlisted novel. There was much that I liked about the novel, despite the dark, gloomy protagonist of Moran, the former IRA soldier, and farmer who ruled his family with an authoritarian glare. In many ways, McGahern could have been writing about a number of farmers from the Western District of Victoria. Leaving the IRA aside, these were strong, powerful dairy farmers, who fathered large families, attended Mass regularly and who ruled their families with the authority some farmers preserve for dealing with cattle.  One of my neighbours used to chase his sons with a stockwhip when he needed them. Another insisted on paying his sons wages rather than paying them a percentage of the milk cheque, which was a more common practice, and was much greater in value. For that farmer, it was a way of maintaining his authority over his ten children.

            There were many other facets of Amongst Women that appealed to me: the central focus of a family pulling together to make the best of a situation, the close proximity of the characters to paddocks and farm animals, the importance of Church and community, the tensions between family members. But it was also the quality of the writing. McGahern’s quips and telling statements that he allows his characters, speak of hard truths and generational conflict. When the youngest son, Michael, asks his brother Luke in London to return home and pay his father, Michael Moran, a visit in Ireland, Luke’s reply is as sharp as Moran’s might have been: ‘I see no reason to go back there. I found it hard enough to get out of the damn place.’ The tension McGahern creates between Moran and the children who fear him is also highlighted when Moran says to his new wife, Rose, who has brought change and a lightness of air into the previously sombre household: ‘If you listened a bit more carefully to yourself I think you might talk a lot less.’ The narrator follows this biting comment with another statement that capitalises on the silence and fear that has been permeating the house: ‘She looked like someone who had been struck without warning.’

            The threat of violence is never far away from McGahern’s father figures like Moran, Mahoney in The Dark or Reegan in The Barracks. The violent opening chapter of The Dark assails the reader with a father belting his son with a strap. While in Amongst Women, Moran is capable of love, and especially towards the end of his life, a great humility for his family and the land, he is also a father who rules by unpredictable moods and silences; silences his children learn to manage and watch while burying themselves in their homework. No doubt, McGahern drew upon his own experiences with his father and family, as Memoir suggests. Just as Frank McGahern did, Moran often ate his evening meal alone staring at a mirror in a sitting room.

            I grew up with the spectre of a black belt kept in a kitchen drawer. It was in the same drawer as the pens, paper clips and notes that our farmhouse accumulated. Occasionally I looked at it, felt it during the day, wondering about its powers to injure or inflame. Despite the aura that I have since attached to the strap, it acted mainly as a deterrent and was only taken out on serious occasions. Growing up in the country, I quickly learnt to appreciate the power of physical force, through farm work, playing football and the clearly defined masculine role models that were available. An argument could be quickly resolved with a clip over the ear or a strap to the back of the legs. My father was an authority within the household, yet it was an authority earned by hard work, humour and a surprising willingness to indulge his ten children. He thumped his fist on the kitchen table, shouted at us to get out of bed, but unlike Frank McGahern, his love for us was never coercive. He loved to catch us out with a hot teaspoon on the back of our hands when we were not looking. He fell asleep in the back seat while my brother and I watched The Jimi Hendrix Story and Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same at the Terang Drive-In.

            The authoritarian males in McGahern’s fiction, Reegan, Mahoney, and Moran lead by intimidation and brute force. Their authority lasts until it is questioned and then dismissed as with the son, Luke, in Amongst Women. And yet, McGahern has the ability to transform such a bleak family story, very similar to the “poor soil of Leitrim” that he mentions at the beginning of Memoir, into a universal story of familial conflict tempered by the rituals and traditions of saying the rosary, arranging an education for children, and of putting on a show for when the children return home. These were the experiences that I grew up with, but instead of returning to Ireland from England or to Leitrim from Dublin, I spent many weekends returning to the country from Melbourne. Perhaps the very act of returning is another way of honouring the past, as much as escaping from the present. It was with these thoughts in mind that I was drawn to the rolling hills of Leitrim, in order to attain a close reading of John McGahern, his land and his writing.

            I had taken a term off from teaching and I was travelling with my family through Ireland, and then into Europe and beyond. We had been staying at Lough Rynn Castle, former home to the Earl of Leitrim, and now a sumptuous hotel catering for weddings, and which also includes the John McGahern Library. The castle itself has a chequered history, not only of being a seat for English rule in Ireland, but also for allowing Irish locals living on the perimeter of the estate to starve to death in the Great Famine because Sydney Clements, the third Earl, refused to give them food. (William Sydney Clements) The library holds first editions of McGahern’s novels and a collection of Irish novels and histories arranged behind glass cabinets. There was something of an Edwardian charm to the room. I could easily imagine overweight men with puffy faces lighting up cigars and reclining on the red leather chairs. The library was a long way from where I wanted to be. Although it is a fine thing to be surrounded by the books of McGahern it is quite another to be driving along the back lanes of the communities that he wrote of.

            Lough Rynn Castle is situated a short distance from Mohill, a small farming town often frequented by McGahern when he was alive. My aim was to drive around the country lanes that McGahern knew, hopefully meet some locals who knew him, and to visit Coramahon, the site of the house where he lived with his family before his wife Susan died. It was to be a drive partially fuelled by intuition, partly by looking closely at the country. It is a practice that I use frequently when driving along the back roads of the Western District in Victoria. There I am often motivated by memory, of what Grassmere or The Sisters used to be like. I want to see the paddocks and hills close up. I want to imagine the ordinary lives of people going about their business. I want to remember, not for any sense of nostalgia, but more out of a fear of forgetting these places existed.

            Driving out of Mohill, I turned right and headed towards Ballinamore, another town that McGahern grew up near and which features in his writing. Tall hedgerows bordered the narrow winding roads. There were several new double-storey country houses built during the boom in Ireland, but these were now desolate. This is Iron Mountains country where there are numerous lakes or loughs. Leitrim is supposedly the least visited of Ireland’s counties. It may not have the tourist draw card of the Cliffs of Moher, the charm of County Kerry or the austere beauty of the bare mountains of Connemara, but it does have hills sloping down to creeks, small villages where the houses are painted a different colour, and a sense of timelessness. The motorways and multicultural centres of Dublin and Galway are a long way off.

            I arrived at Fenagh and turned left for the road to Foxfield.  McGahern lived with his wife Madeline along this road by a lake until his death in 2006. This is the lake that features so strongly in his last published novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun. I chanced upon a church on the left. A huge crowd was in attendance. Cars were parked around the church in a semi-circle and some in the long grass by the side of the road. I stopped to listen to the sermon being broadcast outside the church on loud speakers. There was the familiar message about what Jesus did and whom he was travelling with. I marveled at the sermon being broadcast to the cows in paddocks across the road and was reminded of how deep Catholicism runs in this country. Although the Catholic Church’s presence in people’s lives has waned, it is impossible to escape its influence, its texture on the faces of people, and on the landscape. No cars could be heard. There was the sound of cows pulling at grass and the priest’s voice intoning through the loudspeakers. It was a voice that seemed to be carried from many years before.

            The ritual of saying the rosary each night was a practice I grew up with. Each night after tea, my father said, ‘let’s kneel down and say a decade of the rosary.’ We would say five, according to the season. They might be Glorious, Sorrowful, Joyful, or Luminous Mysteries. Like Michael Moran, my father would lead us through the rosary, his monotone voice occasionally rising and dropping in tune to his energies at the end of the day. The rosary achieves a number of purposes in Amongst Women. It allows Moran to assert his control and dominance over his children by insisting that the prayer is said at the close of each day. The rosary adds a closing note to Moran’s daily work on the farm. It also unites the family, especially much later in the novel when the daughters are returning home to visit their elderly and ailing father. As a child I loved saying the rosary while watching the flames of the open fire in our kitchen. There was something about the combination of heat from the fire, the fire-related imagery of the rosary and the repetition of Hail Marys and Holy Marys that appealed to me on a primal level. It didn’t matter that I was kneeling on hard lino. I knew the words. I could say the prayers without thinking. It was like breathing. Later, as a teenager, I began to resent this nightly intrusion into my life and eventually my parents stopped saying the rosary as my brothers and sisters also rebelled or left home. And yet when I read about the characters in McGahern’s fiction kneeling down to say the rosary, I am taken back to our kitchen, and I am reminded that meaning can be found in small country houses across the world.

            I was also heartened by McGahern’s descriptions of the Missions priests who would visit the country churches to spice up the local priest’s efforts. As he mentions in Memoir, “Redemptorists came to the village like a small band of strolling players and thundered hell and damnation from the pulpit.” (202) I was serving on the altar when the Missions priests came to St Brendan’s church in Panmure. They shouted and shook incense at the crowd, who mostly listened out of politeness. The reputation of the Missions priests preceded them, and some members of the congregation were simply happy to be receiving such stern epistles. The other component of the Missions was that a roster was set up for communal rosaries. Each week people would visit one family’s house and say the rosary together. These occasions were eye-openers for myself, partially because I was able to see how other families prayed, but I could also see how wealthy or poor some of my neighbours were. There were kitchens with torn lino, simple wooden chairs, and a gravity on the faces of some farmers that suggested their lives were always like this.

            I pulled over in the town of Ballinamore and walked around. I needed to talk to somebody to give me a few tips on McGahern. There were numerous pubs in the main street. I chose the pub that I would want to have a beer in at eleven on a Sunday morning. I walked into the cool of Pat Joe’s main bar; a few young men were talking quietly. A man in his twenties was sitting alone, drinking at the bar. When I asked the woman pulling pints if she had heard of John McGahern, she smiled and replied,  “of course”. She had done her dissertation on him. She had grown up in the area, and had just graduated to be a Primary school teacher. It was my lucky day.  She gave me directions to the “small bungalow a mile outside the town of Ballinamore” where McGahern had grown up until he was five. I had a pint and listened to the young man talk about his sister who lived in Perth, and his dreams of studying. He wanted to get out of Ballinamore and I wanted to get into it. Such are the paradoxes of country towns and tourists.

            At the top of the main High street that runs the length of Ballinamore is a fountain. Beside the fountain is a seat that has been built in honour of John McGahern. There is a quote from Memoir engraved into the seat: “The best of life is lived quietly where nothing happens but our calm journey through the day, where change is imperceptible and the precious life is everything.” This moral view by McGahern may be applied to any one of his novels or stories. It is a viewpoint applicable to the Rutledges in That They May Face the Rising Sun. Living beside a lake in early retirement, their days are composed of visitors dropping in for a talk, local gossip, their view of the lake; at once a “river of beaten copper extending from shore to shore”, and a stretch of water that trembles to the sound of nearby church bells. This last novel from McGahern lacks a discernible plot, and with its meandering rhythms of the characters’ lives being played out, it is perhaps his most harmonious piece of writing. It is as if the light and stillness of the lake has been allowed to enter the inner voices of the characters. The title of That They May Face The Rising Sun is engraved into a concrete paver beside the fountain. An arrow points to the northeast. Across the road is Pat McNamara’s garage. The garage, I was told, formed the basis of the Shah’s garage in That They May Face The Rising Sun, as did McNamara; again pointing to the close association between McGahern’s life and the fictional lives of his characters.

The title of McGahern’s last novel in the pavers at Ballinamore

            Leaving Ballinamore, I took photographs of the bungalow with the red door on the road to Newtown Gore. It is a distinctive house with its sloping slate roof, white washed walls and red door. Almost opposite the house, is Lisacarn School Lane where as a boy McGahern walked with Susan to school when she was teaching. It is another ordinary, yet important focal point for McGahern, where “the actual lane and the lost lane become one for a moment in an intensity of feeling”. (Memoir 4) McGahern remembers the lane as being surrounded by wildflowers that Susan would name for him as they walked to school. It is just one of the many narrow winding bitumen lanes in the area, and yet it is a lane that has been enshrined through McGahern’s descriptions. It has been given mythic status in the short life that he shared with his mother. To the McGahern fan, the lane becomes a door into his childhood, a passageway leading to a closer understanding of his writing.

Lisacarn School Lane

            I turned right up another road that snaked toward Augawhillan, where McGahern lived for five years, and where he is also buried. St Patrick’s Catholic church in Augawhillan is an imposing white Spanish style church set on a hill overlooking the small farms of Leitrim. A graveyard encloses the church. A history of the region might be found in the names of old and young buried there. Just as with the Tower Hill cemetery, it is an Irish field with McBriens and McGoverns abutting the double grave of John McGahern and Susan McGahern. A Celtic cross rises from the granite headstone that bears the dates of his mother’s death and of his own. White pebbles are spread over their grave. I took a photo and was met by an old man hobbling toward me. It was Pat Dolan, one of the Dolan boys who used to go to Lisacarn School with McGahern. Most of his family, including Pat, had emigrated to the US, and some had made money there. In retirement, Pat lived alone in a double story house beside the church. A narrow dirt track joined his back garden to the graveyard and the church. McGahern mentions this in Memoir, how the Dolans were lucky to have been allowed this secret passage to the church; a favour others did not appreciate so greatly. According to Pat, McGahern was a quiet boy at school. “You wouldn’t have thought he had all those stories in his head.” He said the day of McGahern’s funeral was a big day in the district, with people coming from near and far to pay their respects.

            Pat’s daughter, Mary Flanagan, stepped forward from the dark passageway underneath the hedge that bordered the churchyard. She was wondering where her elderly father had disappeared. We talked for some time about my interest in McGahern and Mary offered to show me the way down to Augawhillan Primary School where Susan, taught for a short time before her death. McGahern went there as well and although the school has closed down long ago, there are still signs of its former existence. Fortunately the present owners Ed and Angie were at home and they happily agreed to show us through. A mezzanine floor has been installed with modern furnishings, and so, the schoolroom does look markedly different. Yet there are still hooks along the walls where the portable blackboards used to be hung. The fireplace remains and the scratches in the polished floorboards testify to the trampling of school children many years before. Ed and Angie also have some good photos and drawings of McGahern hanging on the walls.  When I asked Angie if they receive visits from any other people interested in McGahern’s former school, she laughed and replied, “busloads.”

            Each July, the John McGahern Summer School commemorates his writing with lectures and master classes attracting academics and enthusiasts like myself in hordes. Angie has even had strangers barge into her house pushing her aside muttering this is where I sat, this is where the teacher stood or hit me. Outside the double storey white stone building, pine trees tower over the back garden. The high stone wall dividing the boys’ play area from the girls’ play area is still there. It is a ten-foot drop from the coping-stone to the ground. One former student of the school was so moved by the sight of the wall when he returned for a nostalgic visit that he walked along the top as soon as he saw it. When Angie exclaimed to him, what are you doing? He quickly added, “I wasn’t allowed to do this when I was a student here, and I’ve always wanted to do it, so I am doing it now!” The remains of the toilets were at the rear of the yard. The roof has long disappeared and the stone walls have begun to fall away. I stepped into the boys’ toilet; an enclosure of stone, moss and creeping ivy. I felt as though I was stepping back into history, somehow being closed in by it. I quickly retreated as one who has mistakenly stepped over a threshold into the privacy of the dead.

            The next stop was Coramahon, the house where McGahern lived from five years old until his mother’s death five years later. The house, a short distance from Augawhillan Primary School, is no longer there, however it materializes in the minds of readers through McGahern’s primal descriptions. When the beds were being beaten apart by a hammer, “the thin walls of the house shook in the beating.” It seems appropriate that a metaphor of violence be used to describe the dismantling of the house, especially when it was Frank McGahern, the absent father, who gave the directions to clear the house out while his wife lay in bed upstairs dying. McGahern describes Augawhillan as “our Heaven. With her (Susan) our world was without end.” In Memoir, McGahern emphasizes the importance of the flower and potato garden around the house to her. It was her plea for beauty and sustenance in a marriage that swung like a lantern between Frank McGahern’s moods. McGahern’s descriptions of places along the narrow lane back up the hill to the school show that the ordinary can also have a lasting beauty. “In the morning we walked to school, past Brady’s pool, past the thatched house where the old Mahon brothers lived, past the deep, dark quarry.’ (65) He uses a prayer-like repetition of these places throughout Memoir to elevate them, and in doing so, accords them a sacred significance.

            A rusted iron gate with a thorny hedge clawing at it is all that remains of the entry to Coramahon. There is a slight plateau on a rise where the house once stood. Many people passing this green field would be unaware of the dramas that embroiled a family living there, how the furniture and beds of the house were dismantled while a woman was dying upstairs. It was a strange thing to have travelled across the world and to look at a green field knowing what was there before. I imagine it must be similar to people who travel the world to pay their respects to the war dead; looking at bare patches of ground wondering if they could contain the emotional memory that they had invested those fields with. I felt moved and also slightly non-plussed. I had found the place that moved me so much when reading Memoir, but now what was I to do? Return to the book for this green field to be brought alive.

The rusted iron gate that leads to the field where the McGahern house was.

            A short distance from Augawhillan is the town of Moyne in County Longford where Frank McGahern was educated at the Moyne Latin School. My father also went to school at Moyne, but near Koroit in Victoria. Whenever my brothers and sisters asked my father about his upbringing, his education, his life before marriage, he always mentioned Moyne. The small township of Moyne was located along Badhams Lane between Koroit and Port Fairy. The house my father grew up in was close to the town, but like the town itself, his familial house is no longer there. The Moyne State Primary School educated students from grade one until grade eight. At the end of grade eight, students would achieve their Merit certificate, a certificate looked upon favourably by employers. Don Manuels was the single teacher of the school that numbered approximately 40 students in the 1940s. My father used to always talk about how tough Manuels was as a teacher. He would throw chalk at students if they were talking in class. He kept a double strap in the back pocket of his trousers and would pull it out and strap a student in front of the class for bad behaviour. Every three years the school inspectors would visit, and the strap would be put away, to show the inspectors that Manuels could teach without using the strap. Consequently, my father and his friends looked forward to the visits by the inspectors. Moyne Primary School closed down in 1949 and students were bussed into the new, larger Port Fairy Consolidated State School. My father’s memories of Manuels hitting students who stepped out of line, of ruling with an iron thumb rang true for me when reading McGahern’s Memoir. In the days when corporal punishment was common, fear seemed to be the main teaching tool used by teachers.

            I encountered the absolute authority of teachers with the Christian Brothers in Warrnambool. Often a Brother would walk past and whack a student over the head if he was not paying attention. Our nicknames for the brothers testified to the tribal atmosphere of the school: Scunger, Wombat, A.J, (after Aunty Jack on T.V, due to the black glove he wore over his malformed right hand), and Kojak, for one bald, slightly mad Brother who resembled the TV star of the 1970s. The use of force and intimidation was not confined to the Brothers either. A male teacher made me kneel down and apologise to him in a crowded school corridor after he objected to the noise my friends and I were making at lunchtime. The teacher’s lecture to me in front of my friends and other students has been something I have never forgotten.

             After asking some locals for directions to the Moyne Latin School, I found the long yellow stone building on a rise at the edge of the town. As I pulled up to the school, now used as a hall, an old man was walking by the road. Instinct told me that he might know something about Frank McGahern. When I told him that I was researching John McGahern he smiled and said he went to the Presentation Brothers Teacher Training School in Dublin when John McGahern was studying there. His name was George Taff, and he was at St Patrick’s from 1954-56 while McGahern was there from 1953-55. George told me a few anecdotes about McGahern who came across as a bit of a joker, and someone from an early age who was challenging the strictures of the Catholic Church.

            The students boarding at St Patrick’s were rarely allowed outside: “we hardly saw daylight.” Each night the students had to put on a show in the college hall and when it was McGahern’s turn to put on a show he wrote the play script. Other boys acted out the parts. George remembered one line of McGahern’s that closed the show. There was a cook below in the kitchen who, as well as bringing food to the hall, also brought the students’ medicine when they were sick. The boys referred to her as the Mozzie. McGahern’s harmless line was “And here comes the white-coated Mozzie”. The Dean of the school was outraged and sent all the boys back to their dorms as punishment for insulting a staff member. At an early age, McGahern was pushing boundaries.

            George’s father was also in the Garda, and the family moved with the father each time he was posted to a different Barracks. Unlike Frank McGahern, George’s father lived in the same house as his family. This shows how much of an anomaly Frank McGahern was by choosing to live apart from his family. McGahern describes his father in Memoir as someone “who lived his life in roles”, (226) or as someone who lived his life first and those around him came second. This is despite the moral adages such as “alone we are nothing, together we can take on the world”, (216) that McGahern attributes to his father. After reading Memoir, it is little surprise that such a complex and hierarchical father would influence McGahern’s fiction so strongly. Similarly, it seems appropriate that many of the women in McGahern’s fiction such as Rose in Amongst Women or Elizabeth in The Barracks show that dignity and identity need not be sacrificed in the management of an abusive husband.

            Having the opportunity to drive around these back lanes brought me closer to a vision of John McGahern, for all readers develop a particular image or idea of a favourite author. Some of us need to visit the landscape of the books, if only to understand the writer more, or ourselves. At last I could see the landscape that he wrote about so vividly. Part of his appeal for me, is that he was able to write about small farming communities and to make their concerns and way of life universal. McGahern’s Irish lives may be removed from contemporary Ireland, where the cities are made up of people from different cultures, and where mobility is taken for granted. A person may live in Dublin, holiday in Turkey and fly regularly into Europe for work. And yet, his novels and stories endure, partially because he was writing about an Ireland that is rapidly disappearing, but also because he wrote about  people whose character was “moulded by the land”. (Maher 2) McGahern wrote, “that the quality of feeling that’s brought to the landscape is actually more important than the landscape itself.” (Love of the World 114) He achieved this clearly throughout his writing. His view of landscape was imbued with nostalgia, regret, plain speaking and epiphany, and he did this by writing about the hills and people around him.

            I returned to Lough Rynn to collect my wife and daughters and drove back to Mohill where, earlier I had glimpsed the local agricultural show. Under a clear blue sky, on a rich fertile slope overlooking the town, there were Irish draught horse competitions, bull and steer competitions. There were queues for the sausage and sizzle. A man with a donkey and cart was offering rides. A gypsy woman was selling trinkets and jewelery outside the showground gates. The cattle judges took their duties seriously and wore suits and bowler hats. I leant on the rails beside local farmers watching the blue Limousin cows being paraded before me. I could easily have been at the Portarlington Show or the Noorat Show that I went to regularly as a child. McGahern knew this world of country shows. He has described Mohill as being “one of the happiest towns in the world.” (Love of the World 26) He could easily have been writing about the rural world that I grew up in. It is why I travelled across the world to see where I came from.

Mohill Agricultural Show, 2010.

Works Cited

‘William Sydney Clements”

Maher, Eamon. John McGahern: From the Local to the Universal. Dublin: The Liffey Press, 2003.

McGahern, John, Amongst Women. London: Faber & Faber, 1990

  • The Barracks. London: Faber & Faber, 1963.
  • Creatures of the Earth. New & Selected Stories. London: Faber & Faber, 2009.
  • The Dark. London: Faber & Faber, 2009.
  • Love of the World, Essays. London: Faber & Faber, 2009.
  • Memoir. London: Faber & Faber, 2005.
  • That They May Face the Rising Sun. London: Faber & Faber, 2002.