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Emma Donoghue

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, I am the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic). I attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one eye-opening year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 I earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin (unfortunately, without learning to actually speak French). I moved to England, and in 1997 received my PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. From the age of 23, I have earned my living as a writer, and have been lucky enough to never have an ‘honest job’ since I was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 I settled in London, Ontario, where I live with Chris Roulston and our son Finn and daughter Una.

General Bibliography

Michael Lackey, ‘Emma Donoghue: Voicing the Nobodies in the Biographical Novel,’
 in Éire-Ireland, 53:1-2 (Spring/Summer 2018), 120-133, and in his ed. Conversations with Biographical Novelists: Truthful Fictions across the Globe (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), 81-92.

Michael Lackey, ‘Ireland, the Irish, and Biofiction,’ in Éire-Ireland, 53:1-2 (Spring/Summer 2018), 98-119.

Libe García Zarranz, TransCanadian Feminist Fictions: New Cross-Border Ethics (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2017) studies my work (Slammerkin, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Room and Astray) alongside that of Dionne Brand and Hiromi Goto.

Renee Fox (University of California, Santa Cruz), "Queering the Archive in Emma Donoghue's Neo-historical Fiction," paper delivered MLA 2017 (Philadelphia).

Stephanie Scott (Penn State), "At Home in the Nation: Hermeneutical Injustice in the Works of Jamie O'Neill and Emma Donoghue," papered delivered MLA 2017 (Philadelphia).

'Emma Donoghue, in conversation with Abby Palko,' 17 July 2017, http://breac.nd.edu/articles/emma-donoghue-in-conversation-with-abby-palko/ A probing interview about my entire career.


Long video interview on RTE's The Works: http://www.rte.ie/player/us/show/the-works-presents-3056/10629546/



Camille Harrigan (Concordia), "Reconciling Irishness and Queerness for the New Ireland: Emma Donoghue’s Early Work and the Voices of ‘Others’," paper delivered SOFEIR conference UNHEARD VOICES (Paris), March 2015.

Heather Ingman, Irish Women’s Fiction: From Edgeworth to Enright (Irish Academic Press, 2013), 247-48, discusses my fiction from Stir-fry to Room.

Reading from 'A Short Story' (in The Women Who Gave Birth to Rabbits) and talking about writing factual historical fiction at American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 11 October 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEpFiYSRGuw

Noah Charney, 'Emma Donoghue: The How I Write Interview', thedailybeast.com, 24 October 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/24/emma-donoghue-the-how-i-write-interview.html

Tom Ue, ‘An extraordinary act of motherhood: a conversation with Emma Donoghue,’ Journal of Gender Studies, 21:1 (2012), 101-106,

A long interview (four parts, 14 minutes each) on TV Ontario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin (18-21 July 2011), discussing:
The Parent-Child Relationship
Touchy Subjects
Women and Gender Identity
Behind the Mask of Masculinity

In conversation with novelist Fiona Shaw at the Edinburgh Festival, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-XMA66H5ZU

Samuele F. Grassi and Fiorenzo Fantaccini, ‘Emma in Borderlands: Q&A with Emma Donoghue’, in Studi Irlandesi: A Journal of Irish Studies (2011), http://www.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-sijis/article/view/9717

In conversation with my father Denis Donoghue on RTE Radio’s Miriam Meets, 28 November 2010: http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2010/pc/pod-v-miriammeets281110donoghue.mp3

Dearbhla McGrath, ‘Marginal Identities: Representations of Sexuality in the Work of Emma Donoghue,’ paper delivered at Écrivaines Irlandaises / Irish Women Writers Conference (Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 2010).

Jennifer M. Jeffers, “The Reclamation of ‘Injurious Terms’ in Emma Donoghue’s Fiction” in A Companion to Irish Literature, Vol. 2, ed. Julia M. Wright (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 425-35.

Judy Stoffman, ‘Writer has a Deft Touch with Sexual Identities’, Toronto Star, 13 January 2007.

Maureen E. Mulvihill, ‘Emma Donoghue’, in Irish Women Writers: An A-Z Guide, ed. Alexander G. Gonzales (Westwood, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006), 98-101.

Brian Cliff, ‘Anne Enright and Emma Donoghue: The Desire to Belong in Contemporary Irish Fiction’, paper delivered at IASIL Conference (Sydney, 2006).

Eibhear Walshe, ‘Emma Donoghue, b. 1969’, in Anthony Roche, ed. The UCD Aesthetic: Celebrating 150 Years of UCD Writers (Dublin: New Island, 2005), 274-84.

Charlotte Abbott, ‘Protean Talent’, Publishers Weekly, 10 October 2004.

‘A Liking to be Noticed’, Sunday Independent (Ireland), 1 August 2004.

Kersti Tarien Powell, ‘Emma Donoghue’, in Irish Fiction: An Introduction (New York and London: Continuum, 2004), 108-110.

Jennifer M. Jeffers, The Irish Novel at the End of the Twentieth Century: Gender, Bodies and Power (New York: Palgrave, 2002), 90-107.

Stacia L. Bensyl, ‘Emma Donoghue’, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 267, Twenty-First Century British and Irish Novelists, ed. by Michael R. Molino (Columbia, SC: Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc, 2002).

Helen Thompson, interview in Irish Women Writers Speak Out, by Caitriona Moloney and Helen Thompson (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2002), 169-180.

‘Don’t Tell Me You’ve Never Heard of Emma Donoghue’ (cover story), Eye Weekly (Toronto), 17 October 2002.

Anne Fogarty, ‘Lesbian Texts and Contexts: The Fiction of Emma Donoghue and Mary Dorcey’, paper delivered at Munster Women Writers Conference (2001).

Antoinette Quinn, 'New Noises from the Woodshed: The Novels of Emma Donoghue,' in Contemporary Irish Fiction: Themes, Tropes, Theories, ed. by Liam Harte and Michael Parker (London: Macmillan, and New York: St Martin's, 2000), pp.145-167.

Stacia Bensyl, ‘Swings and Roundabouts: An Interview with Emma Donoghue’, Irish Studies Review, 8, No. 1 (2000), 73-81.

'Emma's Exploits', Globe and Mail (Canada), 7 October 2000.

'Loose Lives', Irish Examiner, 5 August 2000.

'All Het Up', Time Out (London), 2 August 2000.

'Writer in Residence', Image Magazine (Ireland), July 2000.

S. Díez, "Women's Homoerotic Voice in the Works of Emma Donoghue: Discovery and Assertion", paper delivered at IASIL (1999).

'Irish Spring', Bay Area Reporter, 1 April 1999

Rachel Wingfield, 'Lesbian Writers in the Mainstream: Sarah Maitland, Jeanette Winterson and Emma Donoghue' in Beyond Sex and Romance: The Politics of Contemporary Lesbian Fiction, ed. by Elaine Hutton (London: Women's Press, 1998).

Tonie van Marle, 'Emma Donoghue', in Gay and Lesbian Literature: Volume Two, ed. by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast (Detroit: St James Press, 1998).

'We've a Long Way to Go', Gay Community News (Ireland), April 1997.

Marilyn R. Farwell, Heterosexual Plots and Lesbian Narratives (New York and London: New York University Press, 1996), 170-71, 176.

'Sect Goddess,' Diva, April 1995.

'Family Ties: Frances Donoghue on her daughter, Emma Donoghue,' Sunday Tribune, 26 March 1995.

'Relative Values: Emma Donoghue, lesbian novelist and playwright, and her father, Denis, academic and critic,' Sunday Times, 26 March 1995.

'The Bishop and the Lesbian,' Guardian, 22 March 1995.

'Faith, Hope and Sexual Clarity,' Times, 23 February 1995.