Sunday 25 February 2018

Ryan gets real about the heroic life of the writer

Cartoon by Jim Cogan
Cartoon by Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

There was a sad little anniversary last week, marking the day in 1966 when John McGahern lost his job as a teacher due to various "indecencies" in his novel The Dark.

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago in this paper, Donal Ryan explained to Niamh Horan that despite his success as a novelist, he is obliged to return to his job in the Workplace Relations Commission in order to have a realistic chance of paying his mortgage and generally making a living.

So this is how far we have come - we used to force our writers to leave the public service, now we force them to join it.

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