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John McGahern

My father was very outwardly religious.

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Yes, though I have nothing but gratitude for my upbringing in the church.

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But that private world, once it's dramatised, doesn't live again until it finds a reader.

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I've never written anything that hasn't been in my mind for a long time - seven or eight years.

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I read all the time. I was reading a book I admire very much by Alice McDermot called Charming Billy.

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I feel I grew up in a different century than I live in. I think most of them are changes for the good.

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I love the description of Gothic churches before the printed word, that they were the bibles of the poor.

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I think fiction is a very serious thing, that while it is fiction, it is also a revelation of truth, or facts.

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Ireland is a peculiar society in the sense that it was a nineteenth century society up to about 1970 and then it almost bypassed the twentieth century.

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I think it's linked to the realisation that we're not going to live forever and that the way of saying and the language become more important than the story.

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