MAEVE Binchy’s novels sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and when she died on July 30th, 2012, she did so as Ireland’s best-selling writer of all time.
She was also, without question, our best-loved writer.
In books such as Circle of Friends, The Lilac Bus and Tara Road, no one else told stories like her. Humane, down-to-earth, funny, her novels captured imaginations and hearts on both sides of the Atlantic in a way that most Irish authors only dream of.
Now, to mark the first anniversary of her death next Tuesday, the Irish Independent (the paper which gave Maeve Binchy her first by-line) is publishing exclusive extracts from a new biography of the writer. The series concludes with part three in today’s ‘Irish Independent.’ You can read part two of the series here.
This new book gives a remarkable insight into the private life of the much-loved author and the way she used her own struggles as a teenager and young adult in the creation of some of the best known characters in her books.
Self-conscious about being tall and a little overweight, the young Maeve struggled to find a boyfriend and to be valued as the exceptional person she was. The book also reveals the emotional contours which defined Maeve Binchy as a writer and a person -- and which she used so brilliantly in her writing.
Maeve Binchy - The Biography will be published in hardback on August 5th by The Robson Press at £20. The book is written by Piers Dudgeon, author of bestselling biographies of a number of writers including Catherine Cookson, J. M. Barrie and Daphne du Maurier.
Part three of these exclusive extracts from Maeve Binchy’s biography ‘Meeting Gordon, the love of her life’ is inside today’s Sunday Independent.
Born in 1939, Maeve Binchy grew up in comfortable middle-class surroundings in Dalkey, then very much a rural seaside village separate from the distant capital. Her father William was a lawyer, her mother Maureen a former nurse at St Vincent's Hospital, and home was Eastmount, an imposing house on Knocknacree Road to which the Binchys moved in 1952. "My childhood was a joy," Maeve said. She remembered no arguments between her parents during the entire course of her childhood.