Saturday 22 July 2017

Mary Kenny: Maeve Binchy shunned the dark side

MAEVE Binchy and I were young journalists together in Dublin. She was woman’s editor of the Irish Times, while I was woman’s editor of the Irish Press – now, alas, defunct – and we would drink together at the famous Pearl Bar in Dublin – now also, alas, defunct – where the storytelling was hilarious and the boozing heroic.

We were rivals but friends, and I was disappointed when Maeve turned to writing novels, since I thought journalism more fun than fiction. She had been a brilliantly acute reporter, with an eye to the humorous and a deft take on humanity’s more pretentious elements.

But Maeve metamorphosed from the sometimes sharp reporter into a novelist whose take on life was sunny, warm, generous, even wholesome. Hemingway once said that a writer must find an inner truth, and Maeve found her success through a truthful pursuit of her own instincts.

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