Maeve Binchy was born in a small village outside Dublin. She spent her
childhood in Dalkey, an experience she draws on today when creating the
rural villages usually at the heart of her novels. After receiving her B.A.
from University College in Dublin, she began working as a teacher. The
experiences she had while teaching at a Jewish school and on vacation in
Israel compelled her to find work on a kibbutz. While abroad in Israel, she
wrote weekly letters to her father describing life in a country constantly
on the brink of war. When Binchy's father sent one of her letters to The
Irish Times where it was published and earned her £18, Binchy, who had been
making £16 working at the school, thought that she had truly
Since these humble beginnings, Binchy's success has been astounding. She has written four volumes of short stories titled This Year It Will Be Different, The Return Journey, The Lilac Bus, and London Transports, two plays and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film Festival, but she is perhaps most famous for her bestselling novels Evening Class, The Glass Lake, The Copper Beech, Circle of Friends, Silver Wedding, Firefly Summer, Echoes, and Light a Penny Candle, which have been celebrated on many continents. Movie audiences everywhere adored the film version of Circle of Friends, produced by Savoy Pictures and which starred Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell.
She died in late July 2012 at the age of 72 after a short illness. She is survived by her husband, Gordon Snell.
This biography was last updated on 07/30/2012.
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