Angela has always loved words. She read Chamber’s Dictionary from cover to cover as a child, and had her first poem published aged 7.
“My parents were poor, but they made good use of the library. I always felt that if you could write, you should.”
After University, Angela returned to Belfast and taught for two years.
“I’d met a Welshman at Oxford University, and in 1981 we married and lived in Wales. I’ve been backwards and forwards a lot.”
Having learned Welsh, Angela worked for ITV in Wales for eight, fruitful years.
“They sent me all over the country, talking to people and making documentaries. Their output was huge – we went straight from one documentary to the next. Then I went Freelance, working for ITV, BBC, S4C and Channel Four. I ended up as development producer on the BBC The Story of Wales series.”
In 2017, having made over 100 documentaries, factual programmes, and feature films, she decided it was time for a change. Gaining an Arts Council Grant, Angela began to write fulltime. Many of the stories have been previously published. She is also an award-winning poet.
Who is Angela Graham?
Date of birth: 1957, in Belfast.
Education: Rathmore Grammar School; Oxford University, English.
Home: Cardiff, Wales. (But Spend much of the year in Ballycastle, County Antrim.)
Family: Husband, John Geraint, Róisín, Anwen and Seán.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer.
In Another Life: “I’d love to be a ballroom dancer. It’s an unexplored part of my life.”
Favourite Writers: George Eliot, Thackeray; Jane Gardam; Glenn Wilson: Gwyneth Lewis; Hilary Mantel; Barbara Kingsolver.
Second book: “It’s an investigation of the house I grew up in through the story of the whole community. And I’ve written a set of poems to supplement the prose.”
Top Tip: Just do it.
Website: www.angelagraham.org Twitter: @angelagraham8
The Debut: A City Burning. Seren: €11.14.
There’s a strong theme of witness in these 26 stories, which are set in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Italy. The characters’ face different challenges, from a failed marriage to eulogising a hated terrorist, but each of them is at a moment of change, needing to reassess their beliefs, or image of themselves.
The Verdict: Short, sharp, and sometimes shocking – these wonderful stories truly pack a punch.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 21st November.
© Sue J Leonard 2020.