Bernard MacLaverty

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Bernard MacLaverty
Born (1942-09-14) 14 September 1942 (age 74)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Occupation Novelist, playwright, screenwriter, short story writer, librettist
Education Holy Family Primary School Belfast
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Notable works Lamb,
Grace Notes,
The Anatomy School

Bernard MacLaverty (born 14 September 1942) is a Northern Irish writer of fiction. His novels include Lamb, Cal, Grace Notes and The Anatomy School. He has written five books of short stories.


Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 14 September 1942. He was educated at Holy Family Primary School Belfast. He lived there until 1975. Then he moved to Scotland with his wife, Madeline, and four children (Ciara, Claire, John, and Jude). He has been a Medical Laboratory Technician; a mature student at Queen's University Belfast; a teacher of English; and, for short periods, Writer-in-Residence at the Universities of Aberdeen, Liverpool John Moores, Augsburg and Iowa State. He was educated at St Malachy's College and Queen's University Belfast.


MacLaverty's Lamb is a novel about faith, relationships and ultimately, love; Cal is an examination of love in the midst of Irish violence. Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize, is about the conflict between a desire to compose and motherhood. The Anatomy School is a comic coming-of-age novel. He has also written five acclaimed collections of short stories, most of which are in his 'Collected Stories' (Cape 2013).

MacLaverty wrote a screenplay for Cal in 1984; Helen Mirren and John Lynch starred and Mark Knopfler composed the film soundtrack. He also adapted Lamb for the screen; Liam Neeson and Hugh O'Connor starred and Van Morrison composed the soundtrack.

He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays and libretti. In 2003 he wrote and directed a short film "Bye-Child" (BAFTA nominated for ‘Best Short Film’) and more recently wrote libretti for Scottish Opera’s Five:15 series - ‘The King’s Conjecture’ with music by Gareth Williams and 'The Letter' with music by Vitaly Khodosh. For Scottish Opera in 2012, and again with music by Gareth Williams, he wrote 'The Elephant Angel', an opera for schools which toured Scotland and Northern Ireland.

He has lived in Scotland since 1975, and currently lives in Glasgow.

List of published works[edit]

  • Secrets & Other Stories Blackstaff Press (1977)
  • Lamb Cape /Blackstaff Press (1980)
  • A Time to Dance & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1982)
  • Cal Cape /Blackstaff Press (1983)
  • The Great Profundo & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1987)
  • Walking the Dog & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1994)
  • Grace Notes Cape /Blackstaff Press (1997)
  • The Anatomy School Cape/Blackstaff Press (2001)
  • Matters of Life & Death & Other Stories Cape (2006)
  • Collected Stories Cape (2013)
  • Midwinter Break: A Novel, W. W. Norton & Company (2017)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]