Robert McCrum tracks down Desmond Hogan, an Irish writer whose early work was lauded by writers like Ted Hughes and Kazuo Ishiguro. Once represented by the same agent who handled Salman Rushdie, Iain McEwan, and Peter Carey, Hogan dropped out of view some years ago, seeking solitude and travelers’ stories, and publishing nothing.
But unlike many other writers who’ve “gone missing,” as McCrum puts it, Hogan has continued to write. The Guardian offers a brief selection from his forthcoming short story collection.
McCrum briefly recalls other “authors who burnt bright,” including Dow Mossman and, among others:
In these barbaric times what could be a more civilized adventure than for one city’s people to come together to read one book at the same time? A journey on which the travelers bring cultural baggage–background, experience, even language; an adventure of opinion, critical assessment, perhaps even enjoyment!
What awaits them at the end? If they have discovered nothing new about literature as a mirror to life, they may by their shared experience have learned new things about themselves and about each other, discoveries that make for lasting good will.