Brian Moore


Biography of Brian Moore

Brian Moore (25 August 1921 – 11 January 1999) was a novelist and screenwriter from Northern Ireland who emigrated to Canada and later lived in the United States. He was acclaimed for the descriptions in his novels of life in Northern Ireland after the Second World War, in particular his explorations of the inter-communal divisions of The Troubles. He was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1975 and the inaugural Sunday Express Book of the Year award in 1987, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. Moore also wrote screenplays and several of his books were made into films.

Moore was born and grew up in Belfast and was educated at St Malachy's College. His father, James Bernard Moore, was a prominent surgeon and the first Catholic to sit on the senate of Queen’s University and his mother, Eileen McFadden Moore, was a nurse. He grew up with eight siblings in a large Roman Catholic family, but reportedly rejected that faith early in life.[citation needed] Some of his novels feature staunchly anti-doctrinaire and anti-clerical themes, and he in particular spoke strongly about the effect of the Church on life in Ireland. A recurring theme in his novels is the concept of the Catholic priesthood. On several occasions he explores the idea of a priest losing his faith. These works were criticized by his sister, a Roman Catholic nun.[citation needed] At the same time, several of his novels are deeply sympathetic and affirming portrayals of the struggles of faith and religious commitment, Black Robe most prominently.

He was a volunteer air raid warden during the bombing of Belfast by the Luftwaffe. He also served as a civilian with the British Army in North Africa, Italy and France. After the war ended he worked in Eastern Europe for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. He emigrated to Canada in 1948, worked as a reporter for the Montreal Gazette, and became a Canadian citizen. While eventually making his primary residence in California, Moore continued to live part of each year in Canada up to his death. He taught creative writing at UCLA.

Moore lived in Canada from 1948 to 1958, and wrote his first novels there. His earliest novels were thrillers, published under his own name or using the pseudonyms Bernard Mara or Michael Bryan. Moore's first novel outside the genre, Judith Hearne, remains among his most highly regarded. The book was rejected by ten American publishers before being accepted by a British publisher. It was made into a film, with British actress Maggie Smith playing the lonely spinster who is the book/film's title character.

Other novels by Moore were adapted for the screen, including Intent to Kill, The Luck of Ginger Coffey, Catholics, Black Robe, Cold Heaven, and The Statement. He co-wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, and wrote The Blood of Others, based on the novel Le Sang des autres by Simone de Beauvoir.

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