Bernard MacLaverty: Cal

(878 words)

Cal focuses on the psychological torment and political victimhood of Cal McCluskey, a young working-class Catholic living in a Protestant housing estate in Northern Ireland during the “Troubles”. Cal is drawn into the Provisional IRA by Crilly, a former school friend, who pressurises him into being the getaway driver in the assassination of Robert Morton, a reserve policeman in the mainly Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary. Cal’s feelings of guilt and self-loathing which stem from this event are intensified by his romantic attraction to Morton’s Catholic widow, Marcella, with whom he develops a doomed relationship. Unable to confess his crime to Marcella or extricate himself from the clutches of Crilly and …

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Harte, Liam. "Cal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2001
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]