Writer Profile: Maeve Binchy

07/06/2021

Dates: b. 1939, d. 2012

Literary Movement: Post-war Irish Fiction

Famous Works: Deeply Regretted By…, Circle of Friends, Tara Road, Scarlet Feather

Profile: Anne Maeve Binchy was a novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker. The oldest of four children, she was born in Dalkey, Ireland. Educated at a convent school in her early years, she went on to study at University College Dublin, earning a degree in history. A trip to Israel in 1963 greatly impacted her personally and religiously, causing her to renounce her Catholic faith and become agnostic.

Binchy began her career in journalism after her father sent articles she wrote home from Israel were published in the local paper. Her first novel was a collection of newspaper articles, paving her path towards a career as a novelist. She released subsequent books of short stories documenting the lives of quiet villages in Ireland. Her later novels would feature a cast of recurring and interrelated characters.

Her work is characterized by a compassionate and knowingly comedic portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, capped by surprise and unexpected endings.

Binchy was married in 1977 until her death from heart complications in 2012. She passed away in her hometown of Dalkey, a local until the end.

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