Emma Donoghue’s writing never fails to surprise, ranging between contemporary and historical novels, short stories, plays, literary history and biography. Unlike many other writers, she adroitly avoids being trammelled into any particular pathway.
Emma’s new and forthcoming projects include her second volume of historical short stories, ASTRAY, published in Autumn 2012. Her play, THE TALK OF THE TOWN, about the Irish-American writer Maeve Brennan (1917−1993), has its premiere on 1 October 2012 at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
THE SEALED LETTER, based on a famous Victorian divorce case, is Emma’s latest work of historical fiction, published in the UK and Ireland in October 2011 by Picador. (It has already been published by HarperCollins in Canada, Harcourt in the US, and Scribe in Australia/New Zealand.) THE SEALED LETTER was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. Then novel was longlisted for the Giller Prize, Canada’s foremost prize for literary fiction, in 2008. The novel was also joint winner of the 2009 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.
August 2011 saw the publication in paperback of INSEPARABLE: DESIRE BETWEEN WOMEN IN LITERATURE, Emma’s study of plot motifs in English and other Western literatures from the 1200s to the 2000s (Cleis Press).
ROOM, Emma’s most recent contemporary novel, was published in August/September 2010 (click here for more information). One of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year, translation rights in ROOM have been sold in thirty-four languages.
ROOM was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. It won the award for WH Smiths Paperback of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards 2011 and is longlisted for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. ROOM was also a finalist in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011. The novel won Canada’s Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize and was a finalist for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for English-Language Fiction. ROOM was also named as Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year at the 2010 Irish Book Awards. Following ROOM’s publication, Emma was nominated as International Writer of the Year Award at the 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards, and Writer of the Year at the 2010 Stonewall Awards.
Originally from Ireland, Emma now lives in Canada with her partner and their two small children.
‘Donoghue is one of those rare writers who seems to be able to work on any register, any tone, any atmosphere, and make it her own.’ – THE OBSERVER