Walter Macken was originally an actor, principally with the Taibhdhearc (where he met his wife, Peggy) in Galway, and The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He also played lead roles on Broadway in M. J. Molloy's The King of Friday's Men and his own play Home Is the Hero. The success of his third book, Rain on the Wind, (winner of the Literary Guild award in the USA) enabled him to focus his energies on writing. He also acted in films, notably in Arthur Dreifuss' adaptation of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy of Irish historical novels Seek the Fair Land, The Silent People and The Scorching Wind.
His son Ultan Macken is a well-known journalist in the print and broadcast media of Ireland, and wrote a biography of his father, 'Walter Macken: Dreams on Paper'.
List of works
- Mungo's Mansion (1946)
- Vacant Possession (1948)
- Home is the Hero (1952)
- Twilight is the Warrior (1956)
- Quench the Moon (Macmillan, 1948)
- I Am Alone (Macmillan, 1949)
- Rain on the Wind (London, MacMillan, 1950)
- The Bogman (MacMillan, 1952)
- Sunset on the Window Panes (Macmillan, 1954)
- Sullivan (Macmillan, 1957)
- Seek the Fair Land (MacMillan,1959)
- The Silent People (MacMillan, 1962)
- The Scorching Wind (MacMillan, 1964)
- Brown Lord of the Mountain (Macmillan, 1966)
Two further novels, 'And then No More' (1946) and 'Cockles and Mustard' (1947) remain unpublished.
Novels for children
Macken wrote some 5 collections of short stories for children, and also:
- Island of the Great Yellow Ox (MacMillan, 1966)
- Flight of the Doves (MacMillan, 1963), which was adapted for the cinema.
- The Green Hills (stories)
- The Coll Doll and other Stories (which includes thirteen stories from The Green Hills)
- God Made Sunday and other Stories
- City of the Tribes (stories)