Moore, Brian

Brian Moore, writer, journalist (b at Belfast, N Ire 25 Aug 1921; d at Malibu, Cal 10 Jan 1999). Twice winner of the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD for fiction, Brian Moore was one of the most accomplished and venturesome of 20th-century novelists. In the earlier, "Irish" stories, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1955) and The Feast of Lupercal (1957), his forlorn characters struggle in naturalistic fashion to break from their environments. Another recurrent theme is the confrontation of past and present in the lives of individually realized characters at a point of change, as explored in I Am Mary Dunne (1966), Fergus (1970), The Great Victorian Collection (1975, Governor General's Award) and The Mangan Inheritance (1979). Later novels such as Lies of Silence (1990), No Other Life (1993) and The Statement (1995) testify to Brian Moore's interest in the pared-down narrative style of the political thriller and the mystery, though in Moore's hands the genre writing also serves the purposes of literary art.

Brian Moore lived in Canada from 1948 to 1958, and wrote his first three novels here. He later resided in California, maintaining his Canadian citizenship. Among his specifically Canadian works are The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1960, Governor General's Award), an immigrant novel, and The Revolution Script, a fictionalized account of the FLQ kidnapping of James Cross in October 1970. Black Robe (1985) is a historical novel whose setting is the Jesuit mission among the Hurons in the 17th century. Moore stated that Black Robe was inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness; in Moore's novel a priest and his young protégé are led by Algonquin guides up the Ottawa River, to relieve their ailing comrade at a remote missionary outpost in Huron territory. Brian Moore also wrote the screenplay for the 1991 film version of Black Robe, which won a number of Canadian and international film awards.