"Jennifer Johnston is not just one of Ireland's best living writers, she is one of the best, full stop…"
Dublin Writers Festival marks Jennifer Johnston's 80th birthday with a celebration of the author's remarkable career.
Revered today as one of Ireland's finest writers – for Roddy Doyle, the finest – Johnston was a relatively late starter. She was in her forties when her literary debut The Captains and the Kingswon the Evening Standard First Novel Award in 1972. Since then her output has been prolific. Over the last four decades she has written some sixteen novels – from the Booker-shortlisted Shadows on Our Skin (77) and the Whitbread-winning The Old Jest (79) – later filmed as The Dawning – to last year’s Truth or Fiction.
Johnston has been dubbed 'the quiet woman of Irish literature'. Yet her themes – often dark and disquieting – rather belie this image. Far from cosy or conventional, her narratives dissect family dysfunction and sexual transgression with stylish economy. Johnston once remarked – 'I’d like people to find some small truth in my work and go on doing so.' Don't miss this special audience with Jennifer Johnston – one of our foremost chroniclers of the hidden workings of the human heart.