Maeve Binchy Biography
(1940– ), Irish Times, Light a Penny Candle, Echoes, Firefly Summer, Silver Wedding, Circle of Friends
Irish romantic novelist and short-story writer, born in Dublin, educated at University College, Dublin; she became a columnist for the Irish Times in 1968. She published three collections of short stories before her first and best-known novel, Light a Penny Candle, appeared in 1982. The story of Elizabeth, a girl evacuated from London to a Small Irish village in the Second World War, and her lifelong friend, Aisling, it has an emotional power that owes much to contrasts between village and city. Similar contrasts are evident in Binchy's subsequent novels, including Echoes (1985), Firefly Summer (1987), Silver Wedding (1988), and Circle of Friends (1990). The Copper Beech (1992) interweaves the lives of individuals with the life of a community, while in The Glass Lake (1994) a woman leaves her husband and children and disappears to England, in order to escape the religious and cultural oppression of 1950s' Ireland.