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Watch – In conversation with Bernard MacLaverty

15 February 2022

Steven Gale interviews Bernard MacLaverty about his book Blank Pages and Other Stories.

Bernard MacLaverty

This was an exclusive live event for Saga customers, recorded in September 2021. Experience it again below.


Blank Pages and Other Stories

Blank Pages is a collection of twelve extraordinary new stories that show the emotional range of a master. The most recently written story here is the harrowing but transcendent The End of Days, which imagines the last moments in the life of painter Egon Schiele, watching his wife dying of Spanish flu - the world's worst pandemic, until now.

Much of what MacLaverty writes is an amalgam of sadness and joy, of circumlocution and directness. He never wastes words but neither does he ever forget to make them sing. Each story he writes creates a universe.

‘MacLaverty locates the precise point where life bleeds into art, and art into life. Even in the briefest of his stories his themes emerge slowly, unforced, as if pondering themselves; like the best writers through the ages, he is confident and questioning, engaged and wise.’
Hilary Mantel

About Bernard MacLaverty

Bernard MacLaverty is a consummately gifted short-story writer and novelist whose work is deceptively simple on the surface, but carries a turbulent undertow. Everywhere, the dark currents of violence, persecution and regret pull at his subject matter: family love, the making of art, Catholicism, the Troubles and, latterly, ageing. He has written five previous collections of stories and five novels, including Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Midwinter Break, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Novel of the Year. He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio and television plays, screenplays and libretti.

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