Behind the Screen

Tony Canavan dips into the world of Maeve Binchy with Circle of Friends on page and screen


Maeve Binchy (1939–2012) began writing at an early age and as an adult went on to become one of Ireland’s most popular novelists, who motivated and inspired many Irish writers who came after her. As well as being a novelist, she was also a playwright, short story writer, columnist, and public speaker. Her novels were not great sweeping works of fiction but sympathetic, often humorous, portrayals of small-town life in Ireland, which usually had a surprise ending. Reviewers noted her deft descriptions of characters, her interest in human nature and her clever plotting. Recognised for her ‘total absence of malice’ and generosity to other writers, she finished third in a poll for World Book Day in 2000, ahead of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Stephen King. In her lifetime she published sixteen novels (a seventeenth, A Week In Winter, was published in 2012 after her death), which were translated into 37 languages and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Her output also included numerous short-story collections, a play and a novella. By the time of her death at age 73, on 30 July 2012, she was rightly regarded as a national treasure in Ireland and had fans across the world. She was widely mourned and sorrow was expressed at the death of one of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognisable writers.[…]

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November/December 2018 (issue no.382)

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The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

By Brendan Kelly

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The Doctor Who Sat for a Year
By Brendan Kelly
ISBN: 978-0-7171-8457-6
Publisher: Gill Books



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