Paul Smith

Born in Dublin, he left school very early and was a self-taught writer. He held a variety of jobs in Ireland and abroad, where he lived for many years. He worked in factories, on boats, as a radio actor with the Canada Broadcasting Corporation, as a barman in Massachusetts, USA, and as a costume maker and designer with the Gate and Abbey Theatres in Dublin. While in Australia, he worked as a book reviewer for the Bulletin, as theatre correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, and also wrote many articles on Irish and American topics. He moved to Sweden in 1956, where he taught at the Kurserksamheten, Uppsala, and wrote his first novel. His novels include Esther’s Altar (1959); The Countrywoman (1961); The Stubborn Season (1962); Stravaganza (1963); Annie (1972); Come Trailing Blood (a revised version of Esther’s Altar, 1977). His plays include Esther’s Altar for BBC Television – stage version for the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre, 1985; Miss Lemon (1986); and Trudy on Sunday (1987). His adaptation of The Countrywoman was commissioned for Siobhan McKenna, but she died shortly afterwards. He was awarded American Book of the Month Club Choice for Annie, and the American Irish Cultural Institute Literary Award in 1978.

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