Michael McLaverty was born in County Monaghan in 1904 and grew up in Belfast, spending childhood holidays on Rathlin Island. He became a schoolteacher in Belfast and was later a headmaster there until his retirement. One of Ireland's most distinguished writers, he was a great influence on poet Seamus Heaney, who said of his writing: 'His tact and pacing, in the individual sentence and the overall story, are beautiful: in his best work, the elegiac is bodied forth in perfectly pondered images and rhythms'. Mc Laverty is best remembered for his short stories and for the novels Call My Brother Back (1939) and Lost Fields (1941). He died in 1992.