Born in Co. Clare in 1930. Her novels, several of which were banned in the 1960s, include The Country Girls (1960), The Lonely Girl (1962), The Girl With the Green Eyes (1962), Girls in their Married Bliss (1963), August is a Wicked Month (1964), Casualties of Peace (1966), Night (1972), A Pagan Place (1970), Night (1972), The High Road (1988), Time and Tide (1992), House of Splendid Isolation (1994), Down by River (1996) and Wild Decembers (1999). In the Forest, a fictionalised account of murders in the west of Ireland, appeared in 2002. Her short story collections include The Love Object (1968), A Scandalous Woman (1974) and Lantern Slides (1988). Her plays include Iphigenia (2003), Triptch (2004) and Family Butchers (2005). Earlier plays include X, Y and Zee (1972) and A Pagan Place (1972). Her novel Twilight will be published in 2006. Awards include European Literature Prize, Italia Prima Cavour, Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, Writers' Guild of Great Britain Best Novel, American National Arts Gold Medal for Lifetime Contribution, Irish Pen Lifetime Award and Honorary member of Irish Pen. She was elected Saoi of Aosdána in a ceremony presided over by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on 15 September 2015, where she was presented with the symbol of the office of Saoi, the gold Torc. She divides her time between Ireland, London and the USA.
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