Irish author McGahern dies, aged 71

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NEW YORK, Mar 31 (Reuters) Irish author John McGahern, known for such books as ''The Dark'' and ''Amongst Women,'' has died aged 71, his publisher said.

Random House said in a statement that the author had died earlier yesterday but gave no further details.

McGahern began as a teacher in Ireland but resigned and was forced to leave the country after his 1965 novel ''The Dark,'' an exploration of adolescence, was denounced as pornographic and banned in Ireland.

His novel ''Amongst Women,'' the story of Irish civil war veteran Michael Moran, was shortlisted for a Booker Prize.

McGahern, who was regarded as one of Ireland's greatest writers, was born in Dublin and brought up in Roscommon. He did most of his writing in Leitrim and had just published his memoirs ''All will be well.'' REUTERS LR BST0900

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