Fiction by John F. Deane
Achill Island
John F. Deane has published several works of fiction, all of which are now out of
print except for the latest book, a novella together with several short stories:

The Heather Fields and Other Stories
published in 2007 by
Blackstaff Press
  • A review in The London Times, of
    “The Coffin Master and Other
    Stories” : “Deane moulds a cast of
    strange and pungent characters
    with seeming effortlessness.
    These are rare tales indeed.
    Perfectly paced, yet full of
    surprises, they are as immediately
    edifying as the most beloved
    children’s books. Deane is a brave
    writer and one of the finest living
    Irish story-tellers. Working in that
    tradition he adds a great deal to it
    and takes just as much as he
    needs. So, if you’re sitting
    comfortably, read this and then
    read it to your children”.

The Evening Herald : “Ordinary
people populate the short stories of John
F. Deane. However, Deane lifts his
characters off the pages with the lyrical
tongue of a 21st century sean nos story
teller. "The Coffin Master" is pure Irish
story telling at its best, and Deane sets
about his task on even the briefest
sketches with all the passion and gusto
of an island poet. A great and unmissable
work of talented understatement, the
book has to be bought and read”

  • The New York Times Book
    Review gave a page to "In the
    Name of the Wolf" and ended by
    saying: “The strength of this book
    is in its elusive, almost seductive
    use of fear. As is often the case
    with this suspensful novel, there
    is a shadow of doubt, a suspicion
    that the evil we fear is not out
    there at all but deep within

The Glasgow Herald: “With his superb
collection of short fictions the Achill-
born Dublin-based writer can justifiably
lay claim to be the natural successor of
his fellow islander Liam O’Flaherty. A
secular spirituality, allied to an enviable
narrative skill make these stories
memorable. The title piece with its nod
of homage to Chekhov is a passion play
for our times.” (Reviewing "The Coffin

  • The Irish Times: Eileen Battersby
    interview, October 26, 2002:
    “Poet and novelist John F. Deane
    uses language with a purpose.
    Despite its serious intent, the
    impact is beautiful and
Few Irish writers have mastered the art of
eloquent, impassioned expression as artistic
statement as beautifully as John F. Deane.’
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Set in island communities in small-town rural
Ireland, peopled with the marginalised and
forgotten, the nine stories in John F. Deane’s
stunning new collection address life’s most
profound questions – the nature of existence
and the purpose of being.

Haunting, occasionally comic and always
beautifully written
, The Heather Fields and
Other Storie
s showcases the mastery of form
for which Deane is universally renowned.

‘This is the most delightful collection of
stories that I have read for a very long time.
From the beautifully spare opening sentence of
its first and central story to the elegant
poignancy of its closing lines, there is much
evidence that John Deane may be a very
worthy successor to that master storyteller of
the last few decades – John McGahern.’
Madeline Lombard,
The Furrow