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Glenn Patterson

Glenn Patterson (born 1961) is a writer from Belfast, best known as a novelist.



Born in Belfast, Patterson attended Methodist College Belfast.[1] He graduated from the University of East Anglia (BA, MA), where he was a product of the UEA creative writing course under Malcolm Bradbury.[2] In addition to his novels, he also makes documentaries for the BBC and has published his collected journalistic writings as Lapsed Protestant (2006). He has written plays for Radio 3 and Radio 4, and co-wrote with Colin Carberry the screenplay of the 2013 film Good Vibrations, about the music scene in Belfast during the late 1970s[2] (based on the true story of Terri Hooley)[3][4]

Patterson's recurring theme is the reassessment of the past. In The International, he recovers that moment in Belfast's history just before the outbreak of the Troubles, to show diverse strands of city life around a city centre hotel, essentially to make the point that the political propagandists who explain their positions through history overlook its inconvenient complexity and the possibility that things might have turned out differently.[5]

He has been a writer in residence at the University of East Anglia and the University College Cork, and was the Ireland Fund Artist-in-Residence in the Celtic Studies Department of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto in October 2013.[6]and is currently a Professor of Creative Writing in the School of Arts, English and Literature at Queen's University Belfast.[7]

He lives in Belfast with his wife and two children.




  • Burning Your Own (London: Chatto and Windus, 1988)
  • Fat Lad (London: Chatto and Windus, 1992)
  • Black Night at Big Thunder Mountain (London: Chatto and Windus, 1995)
  • The International (London: Anchor Books, 1999)
  • Number 5 (London: Hamish Hamilton, 2003)
  • That Which Was (London: Hamish Hamilton, 2004)
  • The Third Party (Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 2007)
  • The Mill for Grinding Old People Young (London: Faber, 2012)
  • Gull (Harper Collins, 2016)


  • Lapsed Protestant (Dublin: New Island Books, 2006), journalistic writings
  • Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times (London: Bloomsbury, 2008), memoir


  1. ^ "Glenn Patterson". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b Glenn Patterson page - Literature, British Council.
  3. ^ "Good Vibrations script-writers await BAFTA announcement", News Letter, 13 February 2014.
  4. ^ Maureen Coleman, "Good Vibrations misses out on Bafta - dreams of glory dashed", Belfast Telegraph, 17 February 2014.
  5. ^ Claire Burgess, "An Interview with Glenn Patterson" Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, Nashville Review, 1 August 2010.
  6. ^ "SMC Sponsored Programs - Celtic Studies - Ireland Fund Artist-in-Residence Program | University of St. Michael's College". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Professor Glenn Patterson". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Professor Glenn Patterson". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  9. ^ BBC Get Writing bio.

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