Emma Donoghue's picture

Emma Donoghue

Ireland (b.1969)

Emma Donoghueis the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their son and daughter.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Children's Fiction, Historical, Mystery,
New Books
March 2023

May 2023

Fourteen Days
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
Anthologies containing stories by Emma Donoghue
Short stories
The Tale of the Skin (1997)

Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2010) : Room
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2011) : Room
Women's Prize For Fiction Best Novel nominee (2011) : Room
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2012) : The Sealed Letter

Emma Donoghue recommends
Pigeon English (2011)
Stephen Kelman
"This boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through."
The Reinvention of Love (2011)
Helen Humphreys
"Witty, sad and gorgeous."
What I Did (2011)
Christopher Wakling
"This is family life at its most believable: warm and messy, bored and raging. What I Did is every parent's nightmare, but will make you burst out laughing too. I LOVED IT."
The Song of Achilles (2011)
Madeline Miller
"Mary Renault lives again! A ravishingly vivid and convincing version of one of the most legendary of love stories."
Carry the One (2012)
Carol Anshaw
"Will lift readers off their feet and bear them along on its eloquent tide."
The Lifeboat (2012)
Charlotte Rogan
"The Lifeboat traps the reader in a story that is exciting at the literal level and brutally moving at the existential. I read it in one go."
Malarky (2012)
Anakana Schofield
"Caustic, funny and moving."
Elizabeth Is Missing (2014)
Emma Healey
"Elizabeth Is Missing will stir and shake you: an investigation into a seventy-year-old crime, through the eyes of the most likeably unreliable of narrators. But the real mystery at its compassionate core is the fragmentation of the human mind."
The Life and Death of Sophie Stark (2015)
Anna North
"I read The Life and Death of Sophie Stark with my heart in my mouth. Not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story."
The Quality of Silence (2015)
Rosamund Lupton
"Like a breath of icy air, this relentlessly tense thriller is also a child's-eye family drama like none other. Not since Smilla’s Sense of Snow have I shivered like this."
The Evening Road (2017)
Laird Hunt
"A strange, dazzling novel, as audacious as it is lyrical, The Evening Road hauls up insight, sorrow, and even--somehow--wit from the well of American history."
The Confessions of Frannie Langton (2019)
Sara Collins
"By turns lush, gritty, wry, gothic and compulsive . . . a dazzling page-turner."
Dear Edward (2020)
Ann Napolitano
"Dear Edward made me think, nod in recognition, care about its characters, and cry, and you can’t ask more of a novel than that."
How Much of These Hills is Gold (2020)
C Pam Zhang
"A ravishingly written revisionist story of the making of the West, C Pam Zhang's debut is pure gold."
Sin Eater (2020)
Megan Campisi
"Sin Eater is a dark and thrilling page turner that turns a dystopian eye on the past in an unnervingly contemporary way. All hail Megan Campisi and her smashing novel."
The Great Offshore Grounds (2020)
Vanessa Veselka
"The Great Offshore Grounds blew me away. The tangled journeys of three siblings in the hardest of times pursuing freedom and love through a broken world will both move and dazzle readers. Wry, epic, glorious."
The Last Exit (2021)
(Jen Lu Mystery, book 1)
Michael Kaufman
"An engrossing thriller set in a fascinatingly plausible near future, The Last Exit centres on a human-AI partnership that’s as believable as it's moving."
The Listeners (2021)
Jordan Tannahill
"The Listeners starts as a little hum in your ear and ends up blowing the top off your head. A deeply plausible, funny, horrifying story of a journey right off the rails."
Matrix (2021)
Lauren Groff
"A thrillingly vivid, adventurous story about women and power that will blow readers' minds. Left me gasping."
The Fell (2021)
Sarah Moss
"A slim, tense page turner that captures the weird melancholia of locked-down life but also the precious warmth of human connection. I gulped The Fell down in one sitting."
Dear Miss Cushman (2021)
Paula Martinac
"Grounded in the nitty-gritties of 19th-century theatrical life, Dear Miss Cushman is a sparkling coming-of-age story about the roles free spirits shape for themselves, both on and off stage. Credible, engrossing, entertaining stuff."
Trespasses (2022)
Louise Kennedy
"Louise Kennedy's Trespasses touches tenderly and hits hard - a compulsively readable love story which is also a lament for a society agonizingly divided against itself. Every word rings true."
The Midnight News (2023)
Jo Baker
"An intriguing and thrilling read, believable in the tiniest details - I've read half a dozen novels set in the Blitz but this one is the most atmospheric and memorable. It had me by the throat."
Not Alone (2023)
Sarah K Jackson
"Not Alone kept me breathless with tension. An outstandingly credible and gripping adventure story, rooted in a deep understanding of both ecology and family."
Sparrow (2023)
James Hynes
"Utterly engrossing, vivid, and honest, this coming of age story reaches across millennia to grab us by the throat."

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