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McLiam Wilson, Robert


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405192446.2011.x


Robert McLiam Wilson was born in 1964 in Belfast. He attended Cambridge University for a period before dropping out and temporarily becoming homeless, an incident that had a significant impact on his subsequent artistic development. Alongside fellow novelist Glen Paterson, McLiam Wilson is generally regarded as heralding a new generation of Northern Irish writers, which grew up amid the Troubles, and offers a different perspective to that of older figures like Seamus Heaney. McLiam Wilson has published three novels, a non-fiction book about poverty in Britain and Ireland entitled The Dispossessed ( 1992 ), and made a number of television documentaries for the BBC. In 2003 he was declared one of Granta's “Best of Young British Novelists” despite not having published anything since 1996. While his second novel Manfred's Pain ( 1992 ) details the life of an elderly Jewish man living London, McLiam Wilson is most highly regarded for his Northern Irish fiction. Ripley Bogle ( 1989 ) and Eureka Street ( 1996 ) address a number of themes including the supersaturation of identity politics in the North, the problematic nature of traditional Nationalist and Unionist ideologies, and the dubious nature of aesthetic representations of the Troubles. The author's interest in muddling the conventional thinking about Northern Irish loyalties is evinced through his own pseudonym, playfully ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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