• Birth—October 24, 1969
• Where—Dublin, Ireland
• Education—B.A., University College Dublin; Ph.D., University of Cambridge
• Awards—Irish Book Award
• Currently—lives in London, Ontario, Canada
Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of eight children. She is the daughter of Frances (nee Rutledge) and academic and literary critic Denis Donoghue. Other than her tenth year, which she refers to as "eye-opening" while living in New York, Donoghue attended Catholic convent schools throughout her early years.
She earned a first-class honours BA from the University College Dublin in English and French (though she admits to never having mastered spoken French). Donoghue went on receive her PhD in English from Girton College at Cambridge University. Her thesis was on the concept of friendship between men and women in 18th-century English fiction.
At Cambridge, she met her future life partner Christine Roulston, a Canadian, who is now professor of French and Women's Studies at the University of Western Ontario. They moved permanently to Canada in 1998, and Donoghue became a Canadian citizen in 2004. She lives in London, Ontario, with Roulston and their two children, Finn and Una.
Donoghue has been able to make a living as a writer since she was 23. Doing so enables her to claim that she's never had an "honest job" since she was sacked after a summer as a chambermaid. In 1994, at only 25, she published first novel, Stir Fry, a contemporary coming of age novel about a young Irish woman discovering her sexuality.
Slammerkin, out in 2000, is a historical novel set in London and Wales. Inspired by an 18th-century newspaper story about a young servant who killed her employer and was executed, the protagonist is a prostitute who longs for fine clothes.
The Sealed Letter, another work of historical fiction, came next, in 2008. This third novel is based on the Codrington Affair, a scandalous divorce case that gripped Britain in 1864
Room, Donoghue's fourth novel, released in 2010, practically made her a household name. The book spent months on bestseller lists and won the Irish Book Award. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Orange prize, and the governor General's Awards (Canada), the novel was adapted to film in 2015 with Donoghue writing the screenplay. That effort earned her a nomination for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Bafta Award.
Donoghue's fifth novel Frog Music was published in 2014. Another work of historical fiction, it is based on the true story of a murdered 19th century cross-dressing frog catcher.
The Wonder came out 2016. Her sixth novel (and fourth work of historical fiction), it centers on a devout 11-year-old Catholic girl in Ireland who has not eaten in four months yet remains mostly healthy. (Adapted from the author's website and Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/22/2016.)
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