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Binchy, Maeve

(Irish, 1940– )

Maeve Binchy was born and educated in Dublin, subsequently becoming a journalist. Her first attempts at fiction were in the form of short stories, but she became widely known for her first novel, Light a Penny Candle (1982). This deservedly popular romance tells the stories of the interwoven lives of two friends, Elizabeth and Aisling, who meet when Elizabeth is evacuated from London to a small Irish village during the Second World War. Binchy knows her territory well, and writes movingly and often humorously about the experience of Irish women both at home and abroad. She evokes the sense of community in rural Ireland, and is an astute observer of relationships between men and women. Circle of Friends (1990) is an engrossing account of the lives and loves of a group of students at University College, Dublin, and has been made into a film. The Glass Lake (1994) tells the poignant story of a woman who leaves her children to follow the love of her life to London. Evening Class (1996) is about a group of mature students learning Italian.

  Clare Boylan, Molly Keane  SA

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (A-Bo)