Darragh McKeon biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Darragh McKeon

Darragh McKeon

How to pronounce Darragh McKeon: Da-ra McKeon

Darragh McKeon Biography

Born in 1979, Darragh McKeon grew up in Ireland and spent most of his twenties as a theatre director. He has worked in many reputable venues such as The Royal Court (London), The Young Vic (London) and Steppenwolf (Chicago) as well as many disreputable venues, including a derelict bakery, a metro carriage and a slaughterhouse. His writing has been shortlisted for the Francis MacManus Short Story Award and the Filmbase/RTE Short Film Award. All that is Solid Melts into Air is his first novel.



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Interview

Darragh McKeon discusses his novel, All That Is Solid Melts into Air, a gripping end-of-empire novel charting the collapse of the Soviet Union through the focalpoint of the Chernobyl disaster.

What inspired you to write a novel set around the Chernobyl disaster of 1986?
I was 10 years old when the Berlin Wall came down and I was really intrigued by the imagery and language surrounding that event. 'The Iron Curtain' is a very evocative phrase for a kid. I can remember imagining that half of Europe was literally partitioned by a chain-link curtain. It all kept becoming more absorbing: the Velvet Revolution. The Eastern Bloc. Star Wars (the military space programme, not the George Lucas cash cow). A neighbour named his cats after the Communist Party policies Glasnost and Perestroika. The Soviet Union became a place of fascination for me.

A few years later, children from the regions surrounding Chernobyl came to stay in my hometown for the summer, hosted by local families. Until then my only knowledge of the disaster was the images that have become so familiar, of infants with shocking physical abnormalities. But here were teenagers my own age who appeared to be in full health. You would see them in shops, staring at the goods on the shelves. The dentists in the area would take care of their teeth. There were a few cringingly awkward cultural exchange evenings in the function room of a pub.

Details were ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Darragh McKeon at BookBrowse
All That Is Solid Melts into Air jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Darragh McKeon but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rachel Barenbaum

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    Rachel is a prolific writer and reviewer and her work has appeared in the LA Review of Books, the Tel Aviv Review of Books and DeadDarlings. She is an Honorary Research Associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    All That Is Solid Melts into Air

    Try:
    Atomic Anna
    by Rachel Barenbaum

  • Ann Cummins

    Ann Cummins

    A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona writing programs, Ann Cummins is the author of Red Ant House, a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and Best Book of the Year. She has had her stories ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    All That Is Solid Melts into Air

    Try:
    Yellowcake
    by Ann Cummins

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