28 July 2015

Blast from the past: Jack Barry / John Maher

Award-winning Irish writer John Maher has written one crime novel under the pseudonym Jack Barry. Miss Katie Regrets (2006) features Garda detective Thomas Barrett.
An apparently humdrum shooting of an ex-paramilitary drugs campaigner leads Barrett to an online male prostitution service and a quashed political scandal from the 1970s that led to Barrett's father's death.
At the centre of the web of intrigue sits Miss Katie, a crabby Dublin transvestite.
Among novels published under Maher's own name are The Luck Penny (2007) and A Short History of Darkness (2014), a mystery novel cum family saga:
An ageing Middle East scholar goes on a journey of self discovery between a small Irish village and a Druze village in Western Galilee. He is trying to unveil a murder from six decades ago that may shine light upon his family's history and his own existence.
Maher's latest novel When the Sun Bursts (2014) intertwines several characters' stories against the background of the 1916 Rebellion in Dublin.

His short story collection The Coast of Malabar (1988) won RTÉ's Francis McManus Short Story Award. He also won the PJ O'Connor Radio Play Award and wrote the one-act stage play The Fetch.

Maher was born in Dublin. While at school he had a summer job at Clery's department store. He studied Modern Arabic/Biblical Hebrew at University College Dublin, followed by an MPhil on "The Development of the Palestinian and Israeli Novel".

He has been a teacher as well as a lecturer in Near Eastern languages at UCD, with a spell as a visiting research fellow at King’s College, London.

He lives in Rathdowney.

Author's official website: johnmaherwriter.com

The author on Twitter: @JP_Maher