F for Ferg

The layabout lads of a one-street Ulster village hang around its housing estates and factory gates looking for fun. They measure each other’s vital parts and chase the village maidens into the fields. Then Fergus, son of the factory manager, returns from boarding school and they initiate him into the anarchy of village life. When Fergus falls in love life begins to change.

Ian Cochrane’s novels are among the most original, and darkest, portrayals of life in Ulster’s villages and housing estates, depicting its absurdity and destructive sexuality.

Ian Cochrane grew up in rural Antrim and moved to London in the late 1950s. Among his many jobs he was a piano tuner and taught creative writing. His novel Gone in the Head was runner-up in the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1974. Ian Cochrane died in 2004.