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AJ Finn aka Dan Mallory: an accomplished writer whose own life resembles a complicated work of fiction Pic: REX

Most of us squirm when we’re asked to big ourselves up, yet we seem to love a whopper-telling chancer, as our reaction to the AJ Finn literary scandal shows

We all feel like charlatans sometimes, don’t we? I’ve often thought to myself that this particular sensation is at its worst when we’re in a job interview situation, where we’re expected to deliver good tidings of ourselves and instead we find ourselves stumbling. Here we are, expected to big ourselves up – but we’re Irish, and bigging ourselves up is not part of the programme for many of us, raised on a diet of Catholic guilt, self-abasement and humility.

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