Joanna Trollope

WHEN Joanna Trollope strides into the bar of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, heads turn. And it’s not just because, at 73, she carries her slender height with such dignity and grace; her 19 contemporary novels…

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Jeffrey Archer

LAST year Jeffrey Archer celebrated his Golden Wedding Anniversary. Describing his wife as a remarkable woman, Archer saysMary has enhanced his life. A renowned scientist, she gained a double first, and taught at both Oxford and…

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Ally Bunbury

Ally was brought up in a beautiful but basic rambling house in Monaghan, with three sisters and 56 varieties of animals including ponies, a pig, and a goat. Between school and college  she spent a year…

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Andrew Tierney

An architectural historian, Andrew has taught in various places, including UCD – where he specialised in The Irish Country House, and Liverpool, where he taught Irish Studies. He works for the Buildings of Ireland charitable trust,…

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Stephan Abarbanell

Stephan always liked writing, and especially loved telling his children stories. “I was always starting books – I   was the king of great beginnings – but I could never finish a one. There was always the…

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Joan Brady

After school Joan worked in various jobs, as a secretary, and a barmaid, then, taking a course in journalism, she scooped a job with Independent Newspapers. “I wrote features in The Irish Independent and The Evening…

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Ali Land

Ali Land

A voracious reader, Ali always had the ability to use language and tell stories. She worked as a children’s mental health nurse for 10 years – in Scotland and Australia, before moving to London at 33….

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Ronan Ryan

When Ronan was 19, a close friend of his died – and a year later he started writing about her. “The words came out like a torrent. I accidentally wrote a 200 page memoir. Writing electrified…

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Rory Gleeson

Rory’s parents made sure that he became a reader. “They insisted on it. It was all Roald Dahl. Then, at 13, I discovered Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy. I found it accessible, fun and empathetic.’ After college…

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Margaret Drabble

BEFORE we met, Margaret Drabble took a walk down Dun Laoghaire Pier. As these huge waves crashed below her, and she dodged to avoid the spray, she thought about the playwright, Samuel Beckett. And she wondered…

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Debut Round up, November and December, 2016

The North of Ireland appears to be basking in a literary revival. In the month that Sinead Gleeson has published The Glass Shore, a collection of stories by Northern Irish writers, the cream of the debuts…

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Cecelia Ahern

THE public appetite for talent shows doesn’t seem to be abating; they make great, and cheap entertainment, but what is it like to be a contestant, thrown into the limelight to be criticised or praised? Do…

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