Bernard MacLaverty

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Since the publication of Secrets and Other Stories in 1977, Bernard MacLaverty had been celebrated as one of the finest living short-story writers. Writing in the New York Times, William Boyd summoned the shades of Yeats, Joyce and Flann O’Brien, insisting that ‘MacLaverty sits perfectly comfortably’ in their company. The Guardian simply said ‘MacLaverty is a master.’

A writer of great compassion, insight and humanity, MacLaverty surprises us time and again with the sensitivity of his ear, the accuracy of his eye. Each of these extraordinary stories – with their wry, self-deprecating humour, their elegance and subtle wisdom – gets to the very heart of life.

‘One of our finest writers, a unique sensibility, who is, surely now, our shrewdest and most sensitive explorer of the inwardness of our lives.’ Tom Adair, Scotsman

 ‘His prose is invisible, free of tricks, as though it was your own thoughts.’Observer

 ‘MacLaverty is an exhilarating, tender, humorous writer ... who can set a scene and create a character with Chekovian delicacy and economy’Sunday Telegraph


Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast in 1942. He worked as a lab technician in the anatomy department at Queen's University for 10 years before studying English and training as a teacher. In 1975 he went to live in Scotland with his wife, Madeline, and their four children. MacLaverty has published five collections of short stories - Secrets, A Time to Dance, The Great Profondo, Walking the Dog and Matters of Life & Death - and four novels: Lamb, Cal, The Anatomy School and Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. He has written for radio, television and screen. His short film Bye Child won a BAFTA. He lives in Glasgow.

Adrian LaveryComment