Oisín has been writing since he was 9. At 19 he dropped out of college for a year, to be a writer.
“I wrote full time, and worked nights. Then I went back to complete my course.”
These days he writes when he can; but it’s tough when he’s working both as a language teacher and a barman.
“Every winter I write full time, from nine to five, for two or three months.”
First published in The Stinging Fly at 18; another story was published there recently. He has also had a podcast in the Museum of Modern Art, and a story was included in New Planet Cabaret. Oisín has enough material for three books of short stories.
“Writing is everything I am,” he says.
Who is Oisín Fagan?
Date of birth: July 1991 in County Meath.
Education: Secondary school in Coolcock. Trinity College Dublin; English and French
Home: Stoneybatter, Dublin.
Family: Two little sisters, a little brother, and a very large extended family.
The Day Job: Teaches English and works as a barman.
Interests: Political housing activist.
Favourite Writers: Stendhal; Rousseau, Julius Cortázar.
Next Project: Utopia’s Hostages. Five Linked Novellas. Currently out with publishers.
Top Writing Tip: If you’re going to write, you’re going to write. If you have that drive you will keep returning to it.
The Debut: Subject. Taken from – Young Irelanders. (Ed, Dave Lordan.) New Island: €13.99. Kindle: €8.97.
The brainchild of Dave Lordan, Young Irelanders is a collection of stories showing the evolution of the literary scene in Ireland. Contributors include Colin Barrett, and Rob Doyle, along with many fresher voices. It’s a mix tape that will open your eyes.
Fagan’s story Subject, is an updated version of emigration. It follows a young man who, fighting unemployment, boredom, and depression, flees to New York, where he has fun, but messes up. When he’s summoned home to a terminally ill father, he cleans up his act and takes responsibility. Highly experimental stylistically, the story is told in one continuous paragraph.
“I was re-reading Stendhal, in French. In English, sentences are limited, in Spanish, French and Italian you can run with feelings. I decided to have fun with grammar.”
The Verdict: Hugely original; highly readable; Subject is ultimately a redemptive tale.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 11th July, 2015.
© Sue Leonard. 2015.