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Writer Stephen Walsh: ‘My American flatmate told me to stop being so shy, so uncertain and as he put it, so Goddam Irish’

The tech salesman turned published writer reveals how he moved to Chicago in a bid to meet his playwright hero David Mamet – only to find himself and all the insecurities he left behind in Ireland. 

 

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Author Stephen Walsh at his home in Rathmines who has just penned his first book of short stories titled 'Shine/Variance'.

Author Stephen Walsh at his home in Rathmines who has just penned his first book of short stories titled 'Shine/Variance'.

David Mamet

David Mamet

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Author Stephen Walsh at his home in Rathmines who has just penned his first book of short stories titled 'Shine/Variance'.

If David Mamet, the great American playwright, had written my life story, he might have set it out like one of his plays: Someone wants something. Then they go about not getting it, thwarting themselves and blaming the world. Then the surprising but inevitable end, when the lie they told themselves is revealed. It might feature a salesman, like in Glengarry Glen Ross, and be set in Chicago. He would certainly not play himself in it.

No, David Mamet did not script my life, or have a cameo in it (a source of great disappointment to at least one of us). I’m the only bad actor in this story. Here are some lies I told myself, from Dublin to Chicago, on the rocky road to the truth.  


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