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Denis MacEoin
Denis MacEoin
Fellow at University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2005-08

Denis MacEoin was born in Belfast in 1949, where he was taught English by the poet Michael Longley. In 1967, he fled to Dublin to study English at Trinity College. He left Dublin reluctantly in 1971 to study Persian, Arabic, and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University. In Cambridge, he obtained a PhD in Persian Studies at King's (1979). A disastrous stint teaching at the University of Fez in Morocco followed (rain, dead dogs, half-pay).

From 1981, he taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University, until his Saudi sponsors removed him for teaching heretical subjects. By then, he had published the first of 14 novels as Daniel Easterman, The Last Assassin (1984). The Easterman books (many best-sellers, translated into over 10 languages) use the genre novel to explore serious political and religious themes such as anti-Semitism or Islamic terrorism. A collection of his journalism, New Jerusalems, appeared in 1993. As MacEoin, he has written books and nearly 200 articles and encyclopaedia entries on Islamic topics.

He has also published eight successful novels as Jonathan Aycliffe, all rooted in the classic Anglo-American ghost story tradition. He has been married to the writer and homoeopath Beth MacEoin for 30 years.