Bernard MacLaverty

Profile of the lab technician turned novelist

Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast in 1942. Having first worked at Queen’s University as a laboratory technician, he then studied for an English degree. 

MacLaverty taught English in Edinburgh between 1975 and 1978, and in 1981, following a period on the Isle of Islay, moved to Glasgow where he still lives.

Despite geographical distance from Northern Ireland, the region’s political and cultural conflicts are central to his early novels Lamb (1980) and Cal (1983), and to his short story collections, Secrets and Other Stories (1977), A Time to Dance (1982), The Great Profundo (1987) and Walking the Dog (1994). 

MacLaverty’s most recent works, Grace Notes (1997) and Anatomy School (2001), invite semi-autobiographical readings, and approach issues of Irishness and the Northern conflict obliquely.

Both Lamb and Cal were successfully adapted for the cinema. MacLaverty has also written drama for radio and television, and written and illustrated two books for children.