For immediate release: 6 September 2010
Former Private Secretary publishes extraordinary novel
The Night Traveller by MJ Maguire
“A riveting psychological novel concerning the deepest questions facing the individual: the experience of the world in which a human consciousness finds itself and the place of that consciousness in it.”
Charlotte Devereaux, Writer and Director
“An intriguing and beautifully crafted work, intensely lyrical, and sympathetic in outlook. I have no doubt it is one of the deepest novels of its type I have read.”
Richard Addison, Writer and Presenter
Mark Maguire, previously Principal Private Secretary to the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales Lord Elis-Thomas, has published a fascinating angst-ridden novel. He left the Assembly in 2004 following protracted disagreements with the Permanent Secretary and First Minister Rhodri Morgan. During a period fraught with institutional squabbles he regularly briefed the Prince of Wales on the situation in the Assembly and in his dealings with a wide range of public figures was privy to many confidences. He left in deep disillusionment and has since devoted his efforts to his writing. The Night Traveller is a dark solipsist novel concerning an Intellectual Property lawyer whose insights into the places and lives of people about him signal the onset of a psychological crisis. A series of experiences with a beautiful woman with whom he is increasingly obsessed cause him to question his understanding of everything he has taken for granted. His attempts to take decisions in his life are thwarted and as his confidence erodes he begins to question the relevance not only of the mundane choices he makes, but the version of reality he accepts, which appears also to be somewhat arbitrary. The resolution of this crisis results in a direct challenge to the reader.
Mark John Maguire was born in Liverpool and was educated at Manchester University, Swansea University and the Polytechnic of Wales. He studied English, History and Philosophy and has an MA in Intellectual History. He has worked as a barman, soldier, an aircraft tank sealer, insurance salesman, labourer, groundsman, binman and computer operator. He joined the Civil Service in 1990 and worked as a Trade Marks Examiner at the Patent Office, as a Quality Policy Adviser to DTI Ministers in London, was appointed Head of International Relations at the Welsh Office in the mid-1990s, was responsible for the transfer of powers to the Assembly in 1999 by Statutory Instrument (Transfer of Functions Order 1999) and was appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales Lord Elis-Thomas in 1999. He left the Civil Service in 2004 following a series of disputes involving the First Minister Rhodri Morgan. Disillusioned with the Assembly and with politicians he has since dedicated himself to writing. The Night Traveller is his first novel. Another novel, A Last Fling, is due for publication in November 2010. He is currently working on a new novel. Apart from a lifelong interest in philosophy (especially metaphysics) and MG sports cars (he owns several, including a 1946 MG TC and a 1958 MGA Roadster), he plays golf and enjoys theatre and Opera and had his voice trained at the Marchesi Singing Academy in Liverpool in his youth.
“At its human level it concerns the search in all of us for another meaningful person, the destructive forces involved in the complex relations between people - and the struggle for meaning in their lives.”
Asked about his experiences with Westminster and Assembly politicians, Maguire says: "There will be a time for that story to be told, but it is not now. At some stage all of these matters will be placed in the public domain - my judgement is that it is still too early for this."
Telephone: Mark Maguire 07986 480277
“The Night Traveller was written between 2005 - 2010 and represents the aftermath of a series of events in my life, of complete disillusionment which turned into this strange psychological odyssey which is set in London. It recounts the personal challenges facing Steven Venmore, a tormented individual, whose past experiences have come to haunt him and during a period of intense introspection he finds that his realisation of the world beyond him is powerfully dependent on him. Further, he realises that the choices he makes, not only in terms of the daily mundane things he does, but in terms of his beliefs and his implied acceptance of the world about him, are merely arbitrary. The conclusion places Steven's dilemma before the reader in the form of a stark challenge. The research involved was enormous and the external referencing and self-referencing exacting!