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Janie Hampton
A loft in Cornwall

Mid winter break was a Christmas present from my husband of46 years( our marraige.
not his age). I don't think he realised what an apposite choice it was. When he's read it
too we will see who he identifies with most. I expect it'll be the wife. Which isn't fair
because i do too. Since Xmas day Ive been holed up in an onion loft with a snivelly
cold, just dozing and reading. At night the corrugated roof creaks and shivers in the
wind. To avoid my germs, Husband has retreated to the sofa downstairs with the dog
and it's farts. We'll probably survive another year. Thank you and Happy New year to

Thu, 28 Dec , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

What a great comment - a short story in itself. The very thought of being aloft in Cornwall in such a situation. Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.Seeing it. Smelling it.

Amy Curran

Hi Bernard,
I am a fellow English teacher in
Glasgow and I'm teaching More Than
Just the Disease to my Nat 5 class this
year (because I studied it for Higher
myself and enjoyed it).

Could you direct me to a suitable link
for the movie for MTJTD? I have
Googled endlessly and cannot find a
single reference to this film.

Thanks in advance!

Tue, 5 Dec , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Dear Amy,

Thanks for teaching More than Just the Disease.
I wrote a TV play of the story but not wanting to use the word Disease in the title I called it 'Sometime in August'. It was produced by BBC Scotland in 1989. Hope this is of some help in tracking it down.
All the best to you.

Gary Deakin

I have a rather pedantic enquiry about the Anatomy School which I enjoyed very much.

There are topical references in Part 1 which clearly suggest that it you set it in Spring 1966. Part 2 seems to take place three years later (Kavanagh is in the third year of his medical studies - no gap years then!) . However you also refer to hundreds of people having died in the Troubles by this time . This doesn't fit with an early 1969 setting

Is this just artistic licence? Thank you

Thu, 28 Sep , 2017 Reply (Protected) Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Moscow, Russia

Dear Bernard,
Thank you for your beautiful short stories. I am an amateur translator. Through your
agents I have sent you my Russian translation of My Dear Palestrina. I wonder if you
ever received it.
The next story I would like to translate is A Time to Dance.

Wed, 13 Sep , 2017 Reply (Protected) Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Camille Kitchen
Netherlands, Burdaard

Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

Thu, 31 Aug , 2017 Reply (Protected) Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Stephanie Head

Thanks for your response and memories of my mother and you are correct in everything. Lovely to hear your views on her.the friend was probably Margaret Brady or Zlata Williams. I have just finished your new book. Such a wonderful, poignant observation of a marriage, the wife's desire for something more and the close observation of a drinker. Trudy would have loved it!!

Tue, 29 Aug , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)


I remember Zlata Williams also. Thanks for the favourable reaction to Midwinter Break.
All the best to you.

Cathy Gibbons
Pismo Beach, CA

Dear Mr. MacLaverty, I have just finished reading MIDWINTER BREAK and am
reminded of the words of Holden Caulfield who said he often wished he could
contact the writer when he had finished certain books. Alas, Holden had no
internet. I, however, wanted to say that I was taken by Gerry and Stella
immediately upon beginning my read, immediately ordering a copy of GRACE
NOTES.I am a 70 yr.old former high school English teacher. The language used,
and the characterization of those two,made me wish I could assign the book to my
advanced placement classes.
The depiction of their marriage is both humorous and poignant. Their willingness to
try to live with each other's quirks was realistic of the experience of a years-in
relationship, as we struggle to see with our early love eyes.
Thank you for the chance to meet these two and recognize a reflection of
Cathy Gibbons

Mon, 28 Aug , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)


Thank you for your kind and perceptive reaction to Midwinter Break. It is a great encouragement for a writer to know such things.

Stephanie Head
Yapton, West Sussex

I came across a book by you which you signed for my mother many years ago. It inspired me to read your books. My mother ( Trudy Watson) died a few years ago but I just wondered if you remember her? She was a mature student at Queens and lecturer at The former Rupert Stanley College.

Tue, 22 Aug , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

I am sad to hear about the death of your mother. I do remember her. She was a mature student and attractive and affable and as a group we all had many’s a coffee in the Students’ Union. My friend Anne also remembers her as very energetic. She says, ‘There were four mature students in our year in the Department of English – us two, Trudy and a rather posh older woman whose name I can't quite recall. I've a feeling that Trudy's son married a Chinese woman who became better known as Anna Lo, now president of the Alliance Party, though I couldn't swear to it. (I've just checked – Lo's married name was indeed Watson.)

Good to hear that you are reading the books. There is another one just out called ‘Midwinter Break’. There's a picture and some information at the front of this website. It is about an older couple who go to Amsterdam for a long weekend in January and discover things about each other. All the best to you.

Margaret Capozzolo
Bethlehem PA USA

I have just finished reading Grace Notes and am so filled with emotion that tears are
rolling down my cheeks. I am crying because I'll never actually hear the musical
composition that concludes the book. I'm crying because your words have created
such a longing in my soul that I can hardly bear it. I'm crying because you have made
me realize the faith and the grace with which I have been showered and how they
enable me to appreciate the loveliness you have created.

Like you, I am 74 years old. Unlike you, however, I realize that I shall never be able
to voice the intensity of experiences that have been the music of my life. Thank you
and bless you for using your gifts to the benefit of readers like me.

With affection to you, Mr. MacLaverty
Margaret Capozzolo

Sun, 9 Jul , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. And to read Grace Notes with such intensity.

I have a new novel 'Midwinter Break' coming out next month in the USA from WW Norton.

I hope you read it and get as much from it.

We 74 year olds should stick together

All the best,

Sheena Bradley

I wondered if you would be
doing readings in the U.K.
this year? for the new book
publicity. Contemplating
going to your session at The
Homeplace SHeaney centre
in August, (still have family
nearby) but obviously would
rather see you in uk as I live
Big fan. Loved Grace Notes,
Cal, and Matters of Life and
Death - liked all I have read
in fact!

Sat, 27 May , 2017 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)


Thanks for all that. Have a look at
'Upcoming Events' at this website to see if there is a suitable one for you.

All the best