Eugene McEldowney

Life
[?1947- ]; b. Belfast; moved to London at 17; studies English at Queens, 1968; started as journalist at Irish Times in 1972, now asst. editor; lives in Howth; A Kind of Homecoming (1994), first novel and crime story with flawed-hero RUC Superintendent Cecil Megarry (vars. McGarry Magarry); A Stone of the Heart (1995); The Sad Case of Harpo Higgins (1996), which moves to Dublin where Megarry - recovering from a heart-attack - helps investigate a drugs-related killing of the Martin Cahill type, during the cease-fire in N. Ireland;

issued Murder at Piper’s Gut (1997), another Megarry novel, published by Heinemann in London and St. Martin’s press in New York; The Faloorie Man (1999), based on his wife's [Maura] experience as the adopted daughter of an American serviceman in wartime Northern Ireland; issued Stella’s Story (2002), the life of an Irish woman in Ballinabeck, Belfast and Dublin, New York and Jersey, her mistakes and her survival. DIL

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Works
A Kind of Homecoming (London: Heinemann 1994; rep. Mandarin1995), 211pp.; A Stone of the Heart (London: Heinemann 1995; rep. Mandarin1996), 215pp.; The Sad Case of Harpo Higgins (London: Heinemann 1996; rep. Mandarin1997), 239pp.; Murder at Piper’s Gut (London: Heinemann 1997; rep. Arrow 1998), 232pp.; The Faloorie Man: A Novel (Dublin: New Island Books 1999), 286pp.; Stella’s Story (Dublin: New Island 2002), 370pp.

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Criticism
[n.a.], ‘Getting Out of a Pigeonhole’ [interview], Books Ireland (Oct. 1999), pp.267; Sue Leonard, ‘Whose Plot is it Anyway?’ review of The Faloorie Man, in Books Ireland (Feb. 2000), p.23 [infra]; Rose Doyle, review of Stella’s Story (New Island), 370pp., in The Irish Times, Weekend Sect. (31 Dec. 2002), p.13 [infra].

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Commentary
Sue Leonard, ‘Whose Plot is it Anyway?’, review of The Faloorie Man, in Books Ireland (Feb. 2000): ‘The Faloorie Man reads like a memoir more than a novel. ... And in the background we feel the underlying religious tensions of life in Belfast on the eve of the troubles.// I loved this book for its affectionate characterisation; its gentle pace, its humour and its honesty.’ (p.23.)

Rose Doyle, review of Stella’s Story (New Island), in The Irish Times, Weekend Sect. (21 Dec. 2002), p.13, gives summary: ‘Estelle Maguire, growing up on a farm in Co. Fermanagh in the 1930s and early 1940s, enjoys her French-sounding name, her loving family and acknowledges, from the earliest of innocent and ignorant days, her attraction to dark, good-looking men. By the time Estelle becomes Stella in war-time Belfast, she’s old enough to make the discovery, like many before and after her, that handsome dark men too often bring a love that is followed by the sadness and wisdom of downfall. [...] after giving birth to a baby boy she finds herself unable to keep him and hands him over for adoption.’ Remarks: ‘[the novel ] tells of a life, ftom its beginnings to its near end, in precise and moving language.’ [... &c.]

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