Claire Keegan was born in 1968 and grew up on a farm in Wicklow, the youngest of a large Catholic family. She travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana when she was seventeen and studied English and Political Science at Loyola University. She returned to Ireland in 1992. She started writing in 1994 and lived for a year in Cardiff. She took an MA in Creative Writing and taught undergraduates for a year at the University of Wales.
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