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Me, Myself and I - the author Jennifer Johnston


Jennifer Johnston at her home.

Jennifer Johnston at her home.

Jennifer Johnston's painting 'Dog in Space'.

Jennifer Johnston's painting 'Dog in Space'.

Jennifer's 'Tales of Chekov' book.

Jennifer's 'Tales of Chekov' book.

Favourite perfume, Chanel number 5

Favourite perfume, Chanel number 5


Jennifer Johnston at her home.

There are a number of books vying for the title of the one that changed author Jennifer Johnston's life.

The book that changed my life

There are a few. 'Alice in Wonderland', as it was the first time in my life I read a book that I felt I would like to have written and I was about 10 years of age. It was a wonderful book. 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen, 'Amongst Women' by John McGahern and especially 1) 'Tales of Chekhov', by a Russian author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history.

The quote that keeps me sane

I had an aunt who was a wonderful woman, my mother's eldest sister, and one of the things she used to shout when she got herself worked up was: "For ghoulies and ghosties and long leggedy beasties, dear Lord deliver us."

The best advice I've ever received

Don't talk so much.

The film I've watched again and again

It would have to be 'Casablanca'. It seemed to me to be a perfect mixture of a thriller, witty and beautifully acted.

The song I want played at my funeral

I don't want the sort of funeral that everybody else has, but there is one hymn, a good Protestant hymn, and it is sung at all Protestant funerals and I think I should have it sung at mine. It is called 'The Day Thou Gave us Lord is Ended'.

The scent that evokes pleasant memories

Chanel No 5.

The piece of furniture that will become an heirloom

I honestly don't know.

The picture that is worth a thousand words

I have got pictures all around the rooms I sit in.  I have got a very mad picture of a dog standing on a black thing on a piece of rope. It was drawn and painted by a Romanian poet who was under house arrest and it is terrific.

The item that takes pride of place in my wardrobe

I really don't have one. I'm not good with clothes, I just throw things on and I'm away.

The sentimental piece of jewellery

I had an emerald ring that my mother gave me four or five years before she died. She wore it always, I wore it always and I have given it to my daughter and she wears it always. This ring belonged originally to my great, great grandfather. It's well over 150 years old.

The gadget that I can't live without

My computer.

The item I'd save in a fire

Again, my nice Apple computer, as I don't know what the hell is in it. It might be filled with all sorts of magic things.

The characteristic I like most in myself

I think I have got a very good sense of humour, other people don't, but

I do. I also laugh at my own jokes.

And least

Lazy. I'm just a lazy person and have been lazy since I was born.

My first kiss

It was such a long time ago, I really, really don't remember.

The last time I cried


It was the best of times

Holidays in France. I always have a good time having a holiday in France.

It was the worst of times

I'm a fairly good-humoured person so I don't have very many bad times.

The person I call when things go pear-shaped

I call my four children.

My death row dinner


Pet peeves


My four-legged friend

I did have dogs and cats but I have none now.

Jennifer Johnston won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Irish Book Awards

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