• Birth—October 24, 1969
• Where—Dublin, Ireland, UK
• Education—B.A., University College Dublin; Ph.D., University
• Currently—lives in London, Ontario, Canada
Emma Donoghue is an Irish writer who lives in Canada. She has published six books of fiction, two works of literary history, two anthologies, and two plays.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, on 24 October 1969, Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours B.A. in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a Ph.D. (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her lover and their son.
From a 2004 Barnes & Noble interview:
• The youngest of eight children, I would never have been conceived if a papal bull hadn't guilt-tripped my poor mother into flushing her pills down the toilet.
• The nearest I've ever got to "honest toil" was a chambermaiding job in Wildwood, New Jersey, at the age of 18. I got fired for my "low bathroom standards."
• My lover and I have a one-year-old son called Finn, whose favorite thing is to rip books out of my hands and eat them.
• I am clumsy, a late and nervous driver, and despise all sports except a little gentle dancing or yoga.
• I have never been depressed or thrown a plate, which I attribute to the cathartic effects of writing books about people whose lives are more grueling than mine.
• I am completely unobservant and couldn't tell you how many windows there are in our living room.
• I would be miserable in beige; I mostly wear red, purple, and black.
• The way to my heart is through Belgian milk chocolate.
• When asked what book most influenced her life as a writer, her is what she said:
I discovered Jeanette Winterson's strange, surreal novel about Napoleonic Venice, The Passion. I had read some trashy lesbian fiction before, but this was the very first book I found that had lesbian themes and was a work of great art. I realized—duh!—that it was possible to be "out" and a literary writer as well, and I started writing my first novel, Stir-Fry, the same year. I haven't liked all Winterson's books since, but I've always admired her uncompromising flair.
(From Barnes & Noble and the author's website.)
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