Evelyn Conlon is an Irish novelist and short story writer. She is an elected member of Aosdána, the Irish association which honours distinguished artistic work. She has been writer-in-residence in colleges in many countries and at University College Dublin. Born in Co. Monaghan, she lives in Dublin and has a deep interest in Australia where she lived in the early 1970s. A clear-sighted, observant and unsentimental thinker, her work is marked by originality and wit.
Her most recent novel Not the Same Sky (2013) steps back in time to tell the story of three young women who were among the 4,000 orphaned Irish girls shipped to Australia following the Great Famine of 1847. She observes them on the voyage, examines their relationship of trust with Surgeon Superintendent Charles Strutt, and follows them from Sydney as they become women of Australia, negotiating their new circumstances with emotion, imagination and pragmatism. An elegant and subtle novel, this is a powerful tale of memory and the ability of the mind to shut out the past that uses a stark, poetic intensity suffused with understated humour to shape its characters’ human presence and historical importance.
Her previous novel, Skin of Dreams, which was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the year, dealt with the profundity of Capital Punishment, and brought her on to Death Row in the United States. Earlier novels Stars in the Daytime and A Glassful of Letters explore the social and political dilemmas which mould personalities, lives, loves and hates. She has published three collections of short stories, My Head is Opening, Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour, the title story of which was performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, and Telling – New and Selected short stories. These have been widely anthologised and translated. She has individual stories in other collections, some of these translated variously into Italian, French, German and Tamil.
Books available online: Skin of Dreams, Cutting the Night in Two and A Glassful of Letters are available on-line.
* Nominated for The Laureate for Irish Fiction 2014
Laureate short-list details.
Post-script to Skin of Dreams, January 2015.
Publications and broadcasting in 2014.
October, December. Articles in Verandah magazine, Australia
June. A series of 6 essays for Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland
May. Short story – Two Gallants – in Dubliners 100, a collection of 15 new stories each of which is a new take on James Joyce’s originals which were published a century ago this year. Edited by Thomas Morris, published by Tramp Press, Dublin. The Guardian Review commentary on this and on Evelyn Conlon’s Two Gallants.
March. Short Story – The Name of It – inChinesische Transvestiten Und Andere Irische Stories (Also in English – Chinese Trnasvestites and Other Short Stories), Vienna: Songdog Verlag, 2014.
February: Short story – The Name of It – in Unbraiding the Short Story, Ed. Maurice A. Lee, Charleston SC: CreateSpace, 2014.
Publications and broadcasting in 2013
May. Dear You / Caro, Cara – English and Italian translation of a short story about Violet Gibson, the woman who attempted to assassinate Mussolini.Publications and broadcasting in 2013. In Tratti – Da una province de’impero n. 93, Maggio 2013.
May-June. What’s That, a series of 6 essays on public art for Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland