A Meeting with Irish Author Patrick McGinley

The Irish Embassy organized a meeting to discuss the author Patrick McGinley and his classic 1978 debut novel Bogmail

September 12th, 2019
Simona Losito, News from Berlin
20190912_A Meeting with Irish Author Patrick McGinley.jpg

The book club meeting took place at the Georg Büchner Buchladen in Berlin, on the 12th September. It was the third meeting of the book club “The Ambassador’s Reading List”, discussing Bogmail by Patrick McGinley. Mr McGinley has written eight acclaimed novels and a well-received memoir during his four decades as a writer, yet it is his first novel, Bogmail, which continues to serve as his calling card.

The book won praise from critics when first published by Penguin in 1978. Bogmail is set in the fictional village of Co Donegal, in Glenkeel, a remote village in the west of Ireland. The action begins with a murder when Roarty, a publican and former priest, kills his bartender then buries his body in a bog. It's not long before Roarty starts getting blackmail letters and matters quickly spiral out of his control.

His idea for Bogmail stemmed from another novel he had deemed too dangerous for publication. The novel seemed too autobiographical, therefore he decided to write about something that nobody would deem to be nonfictional – and nobody would have accused him of murdering someone. When he started writing the first few pages, he began to realize that this material had comedic potential and that he would not be writing a traditional detective story and that is how he began to write his tragicomic novel, which kickstarted his long and successful career.


News from Berlin