Published: 01/11/2010
ISBN: 9781848764958
Format: Paperback



“Tony Whelan’s memoir perfectly combines the two major talents necessary to any successful book of this kind: a fine writing style and a lucid sense of the personal past. He brings John McGahern to life during a time the writer himself seemed reluctant to write about. As well as being a reflective record of his own life and career, Whelan's book is an intriguing portrait of other lives and times in the literary worlds of Ireland and England during the twentieth century.”

Dr. John Kenny , John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing, National University of Ireland, Galway

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The Last Chapter
A Memoir
by Tony Whelan

As a Catholic growing up in County Down in the 1930s and 40s, Tony Whelan encountered the problems arising in a community divided along sectarian lines. But his life was enriched by youthful friendships and a love of literature and the cinema. On moving to England to become a teacher, he contracted a near-fatal illness that took years to overcome.

While convalescing at home he took the first steps in a career towards literature and in 1952 went to London to work in bookselling – where he met future novelist John McGahern. They struck up a rapport which lasted until John’s death in 2006.

An honest and candid memoir of a “long and chequered life”, Tony brings his memories to life with a wry sense of humour, recounting his friendship with John and his successes and downfalls in life. This autobiography will give pleasure to a wider public as well as making a valuable contribution to literary scholarship.

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The Irish Catholic, March 2011

Mourne Observer, November 2010

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