Éilís Ní Dhuibhne is one of Ireland’s most renowned short story writers, who works in both Irish and English. Selected Stories brings together a collection of her work. Known for her ability to shine a light on the realities of life as an Irish woman – a topic she only visited after she was married and a mother to two – she admits that prior to those life changes she didn’t pay much attention to feminism.
Ní Dhuibhne is consistently sparse in her writing yet it doesn’t lack humour or pathos, even when she tackles life’s worst moments, such as the death of her husband, Swedish folklore scholar Bo Almqvist. She puts this trait down to the fact that her Irish vocabulary is smaller than her English so her writing style was adapted to match it. Her Irish-language crime series Dúnmharú sa Daingean and Cailíní Beaga Ghleann na mBláth were incredibly well received.
Born in Dublin, Ni Dhuibhne was educated at University College Dublin and has a BA in English and a PhD in Irish Folklore. She worked for many years as a librarian and archivist in the National Library of Ireland and now teaches on the MA for Creative Writing at University College Dublin and for the Faber Writing Academy. She is the author of more than twenty books, including five collections of short stories and novels including the Orange Prize-winning Dancers Dancing, Fox Swallow Scarecrow, and The Shelter of Neighbours.
In conversation with Mia Colleran, Ní Dhuibhne will discuss her writing process and how she translates it into lectures for her writing students, as well as the art of the short story and how writing in two languages impacts her style. Mia Colleran is an account director at Brunswick Arts and was formerly an assistant editor at 4th Estate.