READERS GUIDE. Questions and Topics for Discussion. INTRODUCTION Amongst Women pulls us into a tight family circle with its first sentence: “As he. Buy Amongst Women Main by John McGahern (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst.

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It does seem interesting, going through the novels which came before, how true it indeed is that the best and brightest seem to feel it existentially necessary to get the hell out of the emerald isle. Colm Toibin said of Amongst Women ” It is mcgahfrn sort of book which you can give anyone of any age and know that they will be changed by it.

wwomen Honestly, I do that. Jul 01, Kusaimamekirai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Apr 18, Kristel rated it it was amazing Shelves: Don’t let them pull wool over your eyes. This was the last book I was supposed to read for a class on British and Irish novels, and I can see why. There are few dramatic highs and lows and events are paced at the normal tempo of life.

Amongst Women by John McGahern – Reading Guide – : Books

The characterisation and sense of time and place are spot on. Curious to see how the three daughters and two sons, and how Rose, would continue to interact with Moran. A large part of the wmongst the handsome Moran holds for Rose and for his daughters is sexual.


What McGahern presents in Amongst Women is the charisma of patriarchy, which consists in its exercise of sole and absolute authority, the power to approve or disapprove, endorse or withdraw support, affirm or amongat, and thereby, to nurture an emotional dependency.

T This is a short, austere and powerful story of a family dominated by a proud and petty tyrant. We walked upstairs and that’s all I remember. Moran lives in a world where Ireland has both achieved nationhood and retreated from the world.

The other reviews were generally good, and the novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize. It’s a short and distilled novel, and McGahern admirably suggests more than he tells with his narrative, leaving levels of mystery behind what seems to be a simple character study.

Amongst Women

The only way that the children can assert any autonomy is through exile, thus tacitly rebuking Moran’s ethos of family solidarity. Lawrence did in many of his mfgahern works some seventy years before. It is written in beautifully clear prose. Peace, I should add, which does NOT come dropping slow The opening part of the book introduces the family as they get together in his old age to try and revive his failing spirit.

Difficult book in some ways to rate.

The best novels: No 97 – Amongst Women by John McGahern () | Books | The Guardian

The story opens with his imminent demise. It was directed by Tom Cairns. It is interesting to me that I learned about the author because he wrote the introduction to “Stoner” which I read recently.


Nevertheless, in a subtle way the story draws you into the life of this traditional catholic family. In the controversy over this he was forced to resign his teaching post. He can be tender with his children, but he also berates and beats them. While I enjoyed McGahern’s simple, unflashy prose, I’m inclined to agree. Here are some quotes from the book. Then, like a shoal of fish moving within a net, Rose and the girls started to clear the table.

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The claustrophobia and screwed up family dynamics of this are seriously hard to take, but in a good way. As a reader, I felt both distaste at many of Morgan’s actions, yet compassion as his love for his family was evident throughout.

Moran is left on his own with Rose and simply becomes more introverted and depressed. Within the house the outside world was shut out. That when you are reading, it is as if you are not just holding a book but a mirror as well.