Dermot Healy near his home in Ballyconnell West, Co Sligo: Healy’s prolific fluency across a range of forms and genres has made him difficult to pigeonhole, and this creative eclecticism may have served to complicate his critical reputation. Photograph: Alan Betson
Dermot Healy: a modern master
  • Books
  • October 21, 2015, 08:00

In Aidan Higgins’s view, the late Dermot Healy (1947-2014) was the natural heir to the experimental narrative tradition in Irish literature – a cou(...)

The late Dermot Healy near his home in Ballyconnell West, Co Sligo: “He talked to the postman, walked the lanes, provided feasts, listened to birds and tales of ghosts, watched the play of light, cooks’ hands, glasses raised to lips, fingers moving over the buttons of a concertina and collected jokes, exclamations, sayings, idiomatic twists, shrugs, gestures, the way a thought or feeling broke into a face.” Photograph: Alan Betson

The final act of his funeral was in the graveyard at Maugherow. The day started with the corpse being carried out of his home to the accompaniment (...)

Timothy O’Grady: I Could Read the Sky “has a life particularly in the west, where there is hardly a house that has evaded the wounds brought about by emigration. The book feels to me as if it’s not so much me talking as all those people I spoke with and remembered. Some of them built the roads and buildings of England. They felt glory and loss. People want to know about them, whether from this book or some other source, and when they learn they are touched.” Photograph: Iris Renata Lardner

What I could do. I could mend nets. Thatch a roof. Build stairs. Make a basket from reeds. Splint the leg of a cow. Cut turf. Build a wall. Go (...)