Deirdre Madden

Deirdre Madden's novels bring to life the smallest movements of characters' impulses and thoughts, portraying the intricacies of human lives with compassion and effortless depth.

Deirdre Madden is a writer from Toomebridge, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The author of eight acclaimed novels, she has twice been a finalist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2009, 1996) and has received numerous other awards and honors, including the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame (2014), the Somerset Maugham Award (1989), and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (1980). Madden’s narratives often begin from a deceptively simple premise—the birthday of a friend (Molly Fox’s Birthday [2008]); a chance meeting with a stranger (Authenticity [2002])—from which emerge complex and elegant meditations on art and experience, love and knowledge, memory and meaning. In her novel Time Present and Time Past (2013), a character watches the ticking hands of a clock, reflecting that “sometimes he feels he can almost hear time rushing past him; it is like a kind of unholy wind.” Madden’s stories show us how we are both bound and freed by the “unholy wind” of time. Her characters’ lives are intersected by extraordinary events: some political (the Troubles), some economic (the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger), some personal, all sudden openings that offer the rare opportunity for transformation and even transcendence. Madden holds a BA from Trinity College, Dublin and an MA from the University of East Anglia. She has been a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland, since 1997, and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Co-Director of the M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity College, Dublin.

To have such wonderful and such wholly unexpected news has been just amazing. I'm still astonished! DEIRDRE MADDEN