Experiment or Die: A Conversation with Mike McCormack

Val Nolan


Mike McCormack is the author of Getting it in the Head (Jonathan Cape, 1996), a book of stories awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1996 and voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He has also published two novels, Crowe’s Requiem (Jonathan Cape, 1998) and Notes from a Coma (Jonathan Cape, 2005), the latter shortlisted for The Sunday Independent/Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year award and recently hailed by The Irish Times as ‘the greatest Irish novel of the decade just ended’. A new story collection, Forensic Songs, was published in 2012 (Lilliput Press). 

McCormack’s fiction is cerebral and often surreal, depicting a west of Ireland which moves beyond narrow, realistic interpretations and into spaces which exist ‘outside of government and history’. In this interview he discusses the influences and experiences which led him to writing, the ubiquity of technology and the fragility of identity in twenty-first century Ireland, along with the vital, experimental ethos which he believes contemporary fiction in the country must reclaim if it is to maintain its relevance in a globalized age.


Contemporary Irish Literature, Mike McCormack, Notes from a Coma, Experimental Fiction, Postcolonial Literature

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

Follow ARIEL on Facebook