Saturday, September 24, 2022

Quite a correspondence

… ‘Dear John’: New archive of letters to John McGahern opens a window into his world. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The letters sent to an author are less often anthologised, if at all. Yet, they offer a remarkable cross-section through the literary and personal networks, friendships and relationships that intersect with the literary and creative worlds. How do other writers approach and critique McGahern’s writing? What of their own self do they bring to the reading of his works? So much in these letters ties to the world, both physical and imaginative, out of which McGahern wrote and crafted his stories and novels. Ian McEwan, for instance, wrote to McGahern in 2006 stating that he “would dearly love to come and see the land that lies around your imagination”.

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