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'I never completely gave up, but I came very close' - Nancy Harris on writing, motherhood, and morbid curiosities

With her play about to open, Nancy Harris spoke to Donal Lynch about motherhood, her engagement and the trauma of a racist confrontation

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Playwright Nancy Harris photographed at the Gate Theatre
Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

Playwright Nancy Harris photographed at the Gate Theatre Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

Playwright Nancy Harris photographed at the Gate Theatre Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

Nancy Harris tried to take in what the doctor was saying to her.

"If you want to have children, you'd better do it soon, because you don't want to be one of those women who has left it too late," he said. "Like I was a breeding mare," she adds.

"And I thought to myself, I know how to be alone and how to write, but what happens if I have a child and I can't do those things and I find out that I hate it? Is all that resentment going to come out on the child? Our whole civilisation would fall if our parents told us that they regretted having us. My mother once told me and my sister, I love you but you're not my greatest achievements. And I thought she was dead right: a child is not a creation."