The editors acknowledge that McGahern portrays “the elusive complexities of people as they are”, in “a reality that is both light and dark”. But they also credit him with creating “a fictional world that had never been”. How do they know? The book is arranged in three sections, with a foreword by Declan Kiberd and an afterword by Donal Ryan. Mapping Literary Strategies looks at McGahern in the context of Irish writing. Images of Place and the Role of Memory is potentially the most rewarding but I found these essays for the most part did not honour their collective title. Friendship, Anger and Sexual Repression was not quite the minefield of pretension that it sounds. The more helpful essays are the biographical.