M. S. Power

Life
1935- [Maurice S. Power]; b. Dublin; ed. Ireland and France; TV producer in US; lives on Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border; Hennessy Short Story Award, 1983; first novel, Hunt for the Autumn Clowns (1983); The Killing of Yesterday’s Children (1985) [first in ‘Children of the North’ trilogy]; Lonely the Man Without Heroes (1986); A Darkness in the Eye (Heinemann 1989); also Crucible of Fools (London: Hamish Hamilton 1990); Come the Executioner (London: Hamish Hamilton 1991); A Crucible of Fools (q.d.); A Sheltering Silence (London: Mainstream 1994). DIW OCIL.

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Works
Children of the North ([rep. edn.] Abacus 1991, 1993) [following BBC drama series]; consists of The Killing of Yesterday’s Children (London: Chatto & Windus 1983), Lonely the Man Without Heroes (London: Heinemann 1986), 222pp.; A Darkness in the Eye (London: Heinemann 1989); A Sheltering Silence (London: Mainstream 1994).

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Criticism
Linda Leith, ‘Subverting the Sectarian Heritage: Recent Novels of Northern Ireland’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 18, No. 1 (December 1992), pp.88-106. See also notice in Linenhall Review [1991].

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Commentary
Aubrey Dillon-Malone review of M. S. Power, A Darkness in the Eye (Heinemann 1987), 212pp.: ‘[…] writes with such deft assurance you’re inclined to forget, or at least forgive, the fact that you’ve been here before’; split in the IRA; internecine warfare as RUC attempt to get in on the act; ‘He writes without hoopla or prissy outrage; his heart is in the right place. He sees the IRA much as Mario Puzo saw the Mafia: as cool, intelligent professionals, not without a sense of humour.’ (Books Ireland, May 1987. p.95.)


Publisher’s notice on cover of Lonely the Man Without Heroes (rep. edn. Abacus/Sphere 1987) calls The Killing of Yesterday’s Children (1985) the first novel of the ‘Children of the North’ trilogy. Reviews quoted on the back cover of Lonely assert that Mr Power manages to show how in the end terrorism totally degrades everyone, and [does] this without preaching: ‘An outsider comes to Belfast, City of Moloch [...] to the fighting men who love Ireland more than life itself ... honour is more precious than victory.’ The Observer reviewer quoted here notes that the book is lifted ‘out of the bogs of thrillerdom is its whimsical blend of farce and tragedy’, while Irish Times reviewer thinks that the author ‘demonstrates his full understanding of the nature of tragedy’.

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