Amongst Women has ratings and reviews. Paul said: Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? A guy who wasn’t violen. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst. John McGahern, who died on March 30th, , set the bar for the rest of us.

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Once reviled — he left the amonsgt after his novel The Dark was banned by the Irish Censorship Board because it was deemed pornographic — he became one of Ireland’s most eminent writers of fiction. For Moran, it is a domestic fortress where he can retreat from his failures in the outside world.

He is buried under a yew tree, but his influence does not leave his family ” The novel shows that Moran’s contradictory behaviour is a personification of the contradictions of postcolonial society. The story opens with his imminent demise. There are few things in Amongst Women that aren’t completely convincing. I think the author’s best achievement was to describe the aging process of this man who had so much influence on those around him.

Irish lore is endlessly fascinating, and its no surprise that so many great writers and poets come from Ireland, and continue to do so. Above all they brought the bracing breath of the outside, an outside Moran refused to accept unless it came from the family. The power struggle between Rose and her husband centres on two episodes.

McGahern was also a farmer, with a keen sense of country life.

The theme of the relationship between power and gender is announced in the opening sentence. Curious to see how the three daughters and two sons, and how Rose, would continue to interact with Moran. amongdt

We see this particularly in a scene where a harvest of wheat must be cultivates before the rains set in. Together they feel invincible in the face of the outside world, and when they gather together at Great Meadow, each member feels bound by this strong family unit. Despite her mother’s warning that he is “one sort of person when he’s out in the open among people — he can be very sweet — but that he’s a different sort of person altogether behind the walls of his own house,” she is determined to marry him.


They remain loyal to his person and beliefs in spite of everything. This is my first McGahern novel but if the others are anywhere near mcgahedn powerful as this one, it won’t be my last. In Amongst Womenthe family is a kind of half-way house between the individual and society.

Takes One To Know One: A Masterful Irish Novelist

How do other elements of Irish life contribute to familial dysfunction? Uh, sure, let’s go. All of that said, there are ways in which every closed system fails to stay entirely closed, and this is true of Moran. Yet, and this is the major strength wmongst the book, I developed a growing sympathy for Moran. Like a few novels I have read recently, the father’s word is law whe This is my first McGahern novel and I am so in love with the way he writes and his forgiving perceptions that I have ordered two more of his books.

Moran has a very strong sense of his own importance that stems partly from inheritance and partly from his own past glory in the Irish War of Womeh. Silence does not always translate to tranquility. What does Monaghan Day mean for Moran? Jan 17, Dylan rated it it was amazing. For this reason he is miserly with money and even though he eventually gets two pensions he still exerts a tight control over the finances. To view it, click here. Like King Lear, Amongst Women investigates the love between a father and his children, the struggle to maintain strength in advancing age, and the difficulty of negotiating between independence and an identity tied to family roots.

The airfare from London was too expensive for Maggie to come regularly.

An early grave or the emigrant ship. I shall be dancing in the street when patriarchy is overthrown. He feels that he is losing his position as the centre of attention as he ages and the children start to escape from Great Meadow. McGahern captures this real-life paradox with knowing distance she’s a pushover, more times than she should be and gentleness she knows there’s a better man deep inside Moran, if she could only cull him from Moran’s piety, repressed self-hatred, and murky piety.

The day when McQuaid always used to come from the fair in Mohill and we had to make the big tea. This is more of a character study of a dysfunctional family. The Lilliput Press, Dublin. The family’s work on the farm — Moran also receives a war pension — gives a feel for rural working life. This theme has obviously to be examined in the light of what has already been said about Patriarchy.


There is a coded life being lived here in which all that is said means nothing in comparison to the tone set by Moran, dictatorial and insistent. They yearn for his approval, yet fear his temper. The main themes dealt with here are: Be it the den, the tool shed, the bar, the garden, the tv room, whatever- they do not run away so much as stomp around inside themselves, mending or fixing or sitting somewhere alone and staring off into space.

This is the story of Michael Moran, a former Republican army partisan long since removed to his outpost at home with his new bride, son, and 3 daughters. This is my first McGahern novel and I am so in love with the way he writes and his forgiving perceptions that I have ordered two more of his books.

His daughters’ successful escape, through education, employment and marriage. In a typically witty inversion, he liked to joke that he was driven to write in order to keep the farm and its cows in business.

The best novels: No 97 – Amongst Women by John McGahern () | Books | The Guardian

To see how the siblings try to navigate their strange loyalties to their father and try to help each other escape him, all at the same muddled time. Languages Deutsch Italiano Edit links. And we get a perspective on the roles of education and emigration in changing Irish society, and on the failure of religion to offer any counter to that, even where it preserves its outward power. Mccgahern all 6 comments.

Study at the university was not financially possible for Sheila. It’s not an ‘easy’ amongsg though: Check the front cover of the novel!