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Things You Should Know about John Mac Kenna

Thursday, 2 November 2006


Today we have novelist, author and playright John MacKenna on the couch with the girls. He's talking about his new book Things You Should Know.

About the book
Things You Should Know: a Memoir, is a story told in parallels. On the one hand, it is an account of a writer hitting 40, a man whose marriage has ended at his own behest.

Aiming to build a relationship with his children, to make them happy help them seize the day, he instead winds up stumbling from day to day, trapped beneath the weight of his own guilt and uncertainty.

On the other, it is the story of a young boy growing up in a small midland village, running free through the summer, dreaming of becoming a writer. However, despite the promise of youth, he eventually grows into an uncertain young man who misses no opportunity to snipe at his father.

Things You Should Know: a Memoir is a book about growing up and growing old, about freedom and responsibility, about being a father and a son at the same time.

About John
John MacKenna was born in 1952 in Castledermot, County Kildare. His books include: The Fallen and Other Stories (1992) winner of the Irish Times First Fiction Award, A Year of Our Lives (1995), The Last Fine Summer (1998)

Apart from the Irish Times Fiction Award, he has won a number of awards for his writing, including a Hennessey Literary Award in 1983, the 1986 Leitrim Guardian Award and a C. Day-Lewis Award in 1989 and 1990.

MacKenna writes form, directs and acts with Mend and Makedo Theatre Co and his most recent works for that company are Breathless and My Father's Life.
He is currently working on another short-story collection. He has also taught a number of courses in media studies and creative writing.