The Art Of Swimming In Water An Article On Des Hogan By Shauna Gilligan

I first read Irish writer Desmond Hogan when I was struggling with life. I was a student of English at University College Dublin in 1990, some twenty years after Hogan had studied at the same institution. Hogan’s hallmark poetic prose in his short, episodic novel The Ikon Maker left me in a deeply reflective state, considering my own life as much as those of his characters. The episodes centre on Diarmaid, a young man discovering his sexuality, and Susan, his mother, who is in her fifties. They make parallel emotional and physical journeys, each at odds with the landscape and societal expectations, and, in doing so, they find themselves.

I returned to Hogan’s novels and short stories in 2008, when I was trying to reignite my own writing; I found much to admire and a lot to which I could aspire. I wanted to discover more about how he wrote, so I approached him after a reading in Trinity College. Hogan kindly agreed to a series of meetings where we discussed (and recorded) his writing processes over strong coffee in a Dublin café.

Read the full Article on Thresholds here: