Books

Currently I'm working on the first of two novels which will be published by Hachette Irl in 2016 and 2017.
 
This year The Collins Press has published my two new non fiction titles. The first, which came out in May, is a lifestyle book illustrated with photographs taken by myself and Wilf Judd is called Enough Is Plenty - The Year On The Dingle Peninsula

The second, published in September, is called A Woven Silence: Memory, History & Remembrance. It centers on my family's complex loyalties and involvements at the time of Ireland's 1916 Rising. It's a book about the Ireland that might have been, in that one of its themes is an exploration of the aspirations of the women who took part in the struggle for Irish independence versus the actual cultural/political/economic inheritance of the women of my mother's generation and my own. But, like everything I write, it's primarily about the human condition:- I want to use the achievement and development of the Irish State, and my own family's experience of it, as contexts for an examination of the nature and function of memory in terms of the complex interfaces between individuals, families and communities, and between aspiration and realisation, failure and success.

Ultimately I'd call it a book about the spiritual sterility of - and inherent potential for brutality in - any national narrative that suppresses its women's stories.

My memoir, The House on an Irish Hillside, was published by Hodder & Stoughton UK in 2012. A paperback edition came out in 2013 and an unabridged audiobook, produced and published by Crimson Cats Audiobooks was released in Spring 2014.

The eponymous house is in Corca Dhuibhne, Ireland's Dingle Peninsula, which is the westernmost inhabited place in mainland Europe. National Geographic Magazine calls it ‘the most beautiful place on earth'.

I fell in love with the area at the age of seventeen, when I first went there to study the Irish language. Now, forty years later, my husband and I live and work both there, in a stone house on the foothills of a mountain, and in an inner-city flat in London.

Changeling, my first novel, was written after months in development hell on a well-paid tv drama that never reached the screen. When I emerged, the late Maeve Binchy, a wise woman and a good friend, sent me an e-mail which said NOW SIT DOWN AND WRITE WHAT YOU LIKE. So I did, starting with three things - a teenager's hatred for her dad's new baby, a motif from folklore, and an Ordnance Survey map of the area in which the book is set. Having finished it, I set it aside and began another novel, on which I’m also still working. Called The Songs Within Birdsong, it’s set in contemporary inner London and Bosnia in 1992 and 1941, and is about music, choices, identity and survival.

Many of my children's stories have appeared in spin-off collections from tv and radio programmes: my work for children is also published by, among others, the O'Brien Press. 









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