In the early 1990s I was researching a novel, part of which entailed getting to know some of the homeless people in the tunnels of New York. At that stage—before physics was applied to the World Trade Center, and the Guiliani administration locked off most access to the underground—there were a couple thousand people living beneath the city.Read More
Every Christmas morning now is full of every Christmas morning then, and in the old unaccountable unfolding of memory I can’t rest on a single time when it all took shape, but this is the story of a suburban Christmas, a Dublin Christmas, a Christmas in the four-bedroom house where I spent my first twenty years and where, thirty years on, I still return no matter where I happen to be.Read More
In February 2015 my father Sean McCann passed away. This article (originally published in Granta Magazine, 2010) is reprinted here as a tribute.
Dublin in the mid-1970s. I was nine years old. It was a school day, but my father had brought me to work at his newspaper, the Evening Press, where he worked as features and literary editor. We climbed the stairs to his small third floor office. There were more books than wallpaper. On the floor, magazines and papers lay open as if speaking to each other. I sat in his swivel chair and spun. He worked on some articles, drew up a couple of layouts, ran his red pencil through a few words, his daily grind.Read More