Francis Hagan was born in 1955 in County Tyrone. He moved to Belfast as a young child and grew up in poverty on an estate at the foot of Cave Hill.
He left school at 15 and after a series of retail jobs went to work in a tyre factory on the outskirts of the city. In the intervals between tending machines he read Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. For a time he became a union representative. He eventually read his way into the University of Ulster where he took a primary degree in English Literature.
He completed an MA in Irish Writing at Queen’s University Belfast by submitting a thesis on Stewart Parker. He also took a teaching qualification and now teaches English in one of Northern Ireland’s leading integrated schools. For ten years he taught Creative Writing in a range of locations throughout Belfast to adult students, helping them get their work into print. Francis has published criticism, poetry and short stories.
His first novel, The Auditor, is a futuristic parable about the ethical origins of the new Northern Irish state. His second novel, The Mill, a work in progress, is a follow-up audit. Joanne Savage, reviewing The Auditor, wrote: “…this is an original and deft novel that combines parable with artful probing of socio-political contexts.
The language is beautifully economical – each line counts – and things move with a continental flavour. Hagan is a wise and hugely talented writer who straddles genres and moods without ever losing his balance. There is no one else writing fiction in Northern Ireland today quite like him.”