11 Standout Contemporary Irish Authors
From The Táin to James Joyce, Irish literature has maintained a strong tradition over an impressive period of time. This list of some of the best working Irish authors today includes writers of everything from paranormal romance to award-winning literary novels, showing the breadth of talent the nation has to offer the world.
Great Books By Contemporary Irish Authors
|Cecilia Ahern||PS, I Love You||Love, Rosie||Flawed|
|Eoin Colfer||Artemis Fowl||The Reluctant Assassin||And Another Thing|
|Marian Keyes||Watermelon||The Woman Who Stole My Life||The Brightest Star in the Sky|
|L.A. Casey||Dominic||Until Harry||Out of the Ashes|
|Derek Landy||Skulduggery Pleasant||The Dying of the Light||Demon Road|
|Colm Tóibín||The South||Brooklyn||New Ways To Kill Your Mother|
|Kate Meader||Irresistible You||Even the Score||Flirting with Fire|
|Maggie O'Farrell||I Am, I Am, I Am||This Must Be The Place||Instructions for a Heatwave|
|Siobhan Davis||Inseparable||Finding Kyler||The Lost Savior|
|Jonathan Dunne||Balloon Animals||Living Dead Lovers||Hide the Elephant|
|Sara Rees Brennan||In Other Lands||Unspoken||Son of the Dawn|
Colm Toibin On The Irish Literary Renaissance
The literature of Ireland has evolved from poems and mythological tales to autobiographies and modern fiction. It has developed into different themes and genres that were not explored in the olden days. If you are curious about recent literary works in this country, you can check out the books that were written by these 11 standout contemporary Irish authors, presented in no particular order.
Starting off at #1 is Cecelia Ahern, a novelist from Dublin. She was born on the 30th of September 1981. She is the youngest daughter of Bertie Ahern, a former prime minister of Ireland. She studied Media Communications and Journalism at Griffith College Dublin. She was taking her Master's degree course but discontinued her studies in order to pursue her calling as an author.
Two of Cecelia's books were adapted into movies. Her first novel, "PS, I Love You," was published in 2004 and became a bestseller in her home country for 19 weeks. It also went to the top of the charts in other places including the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. Ahern's debut work was then made into a film by Richard LaGravenese starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.
Her second book, "Where Rainbows End," was also adapted as a motion picture. It was called "Love, Rosie," and starred Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. It won the German CORINE Award in 2005.
At #2 is Eoin Colfer, who is known for his children's fantasy and adventure books. Eoin was born on the 14th of May 1965 in Wexford. His parents were both educators, the profession he practiced before he started writing in the late 90's. He obtained his degree in Education from Dublin University and taught in primary school in his hometown.
His books include "Benny and Omar," "The Supernaturalist," "Plugged," and "Iron Man: The Gauntlet." His most notable work is the "Artemis Fowl" series, which follows the escapades of Artemis Fowl the second, a young prodigy from a criminal family who kidnaps a fairy for a huge amount of gold. The author focused on important moral themes, particularly greed and the struggle between good and evil.
Colfer received critical acclaim and accolades, including the Young Reader's Choice Award and the Garden State Teen Book Award. The series has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
At #3 is Marian Keyes, a writer of chick lit and nonfiction books from Limerick. Her work centers on themes such as domestic violence, drug addiction, mental illness, and divorce.
Marian was born on the 10th of September 1963. She grew up in different counties including Cavan and Cork. She studied law and accountancy at Dublin University. Soon after moving to London and getting a job, Keyes developed depression and alcoholism. The author started penning short stories during this difficult time in her life. Later on, she decided to send off her narratives to a publisher. Eventually, the publishing company offered her a three-book contract. Keyes' books include "Watermelon," "Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married," "This Charming Man," and "Anybody Out There."
As a philanthropist, Marian has donated royalties she earned from her works. Proceeds from her "Under the Duvet" went to the Simon Community, an organization which helps the homeless in Ireland. She gave the profits from "Saved by Cake" to the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a group that provides practical support to the poor. In addition, she regularly contributes to a charity for orphans called To Russia with Love.
At #4 is L.A. Casey, a writer from Dublin. She is known for creating contemporary adult romance books, notably the Slater Brothers series.
Casey was born on the 11th of July, 1991. She is a single mother and has one daughter. She finished her first year in college but she could not go back after having her child. After getting into an accident, L.A. could not go out for a few months, so she read books and wrote stories to pass the time. Eventually, writing turned into a passion. Her influences include Jane Austen and Lorelei James.
She wrote her first full-length novel, "Dominic," when she was 19 years old. It was independently published in 2014 and became a success on Amazon. One noticeable thing about most of Casey's works is that they were written in pairs. For instance, the titles "Alec" and "Keela" talk about the same story but were written from a man's and a woman's point of view, respectively. The same goes for her other Slater Brothers books.
At #5 is author and screenwriter Derek Landy. He is famous for "Skulduggery Pleasant," a series of young adult fantasy books. They revolve around the adventures of Skulduggery Pleasant, a 400-year-old skeleton detective who drags teenage girl Stephanie Edgley into the world of magic, danger, and murder.
Derek was born on the 23rd of October, 1974. He studied at Drogheda Grammar School in his younger years. He also took animation courses at Ballyfermot College for a short period. Landy wrote screenplays for the films "Dead Bodies" and "Boy Eats Girl," as well. In addition, he worked at his parents' vegetable farm and is a Kenpo black belt.
The writer received the Red House Children's Book Award in 2008. His titles "Playing With Fire," "Mortal Coil," and "Last Stand of Dead Men" won the Senior Irish Children's Book Award. Derek's "Sceptre of the Ancients" was voted as Irish Book of the Decade.
At #6 is Colm Toibin, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet, critic, playwright, and journalist. Most of his works focus on different themes such as Irish people and culture, human relationships, homosexuality, living in another country, and the loss of a loved one.
Toibin was born on the 30th of May 1955 in Enniscorthy, Wexford. He went to high school at St. Peter's College and finished his degree at University College Dublin. He immediately went to Barcelona after graduation due to his fondness for Spain. The author's stay there inspired him to write his first novel, "The South." He received numerous awards and honors, including the Irish PEN Award for his contribution to Irish literature, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, the Costa Novel Award, and The Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
His other works of fiction include "The Heather Blazing," "The Story of the Night," "Mothers and Sons," and "The Testament of Mary." He also wrote nonfiction like "Walking Along The Border," "Homage to Barcelona," and "New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families."
At #7 is the creator of steamy contemporary romance, Kate Meader. A dual citizen, Kate is originally from Ireland, but she moved to Chicago with her family. She has degrees in law, medieval history, and library science.
The USA Today bestselling author started writing when she was in her 30's. Her debut work was "Feel the Heat," the first book in the "Hot in the Kitchen" series, which tells the story of an Italian-American family of restaurateurs living in Chicago.
Kate has also written the "Hot in Chicago" series, which talks about firefighters and their lovers. Her "Chicago Rebels" novels narrate the tales of three sisters who inherit their father's ice hockey franchise. The "Tall, Dark and Texan" collection recounts the romance of tycoons and their women. All of the author's books can be read as standalone novels.
At #8 is Maggie O'Farrell from Northern Ireland. She was born in 1972 and graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She is married to British novelist William Sutcliffe. They live in Edinburgh, Scotland with their 3 children.
O'Farrell is best known for her memoir "I Am, I Am, I Am." It details the author's near-death experiences from her childhood to her teenage years and on through her motherhood. Her other work includes "The Hand That First Held Mine," "After You'd Gone," "The Distance Between Us," "Instructions for a Heatwave," and "This Must Be the Place." Her novels often have themes of family and loss.
Maggie was featured in Waterstones' 25 Authors for the Future. She is also a Sunday Times Bestselling Author and recipient of Somerset Maugham and 2012 Costa Novel Awards.
At #9 is Siobhan Davis, writer of young adult fiction novels. She is known to incorporate sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal genres into her books.
Davis' first complete series, "True Calling," consists of 7 books. They center on teen girl Ariana Skyee who lives on Planet Novo. She is torn between two men: her fellow Cadet Cal Remus and a mysterious boy named Zane. Siobhan has written other series, including The "Saven" collection, "The Kennedy Boys," "Mortal Kingdom," and "Alinthia." She also has standalone books like "Inseparable" and "Incognito."
At #10 is Jonathan Dunne, creator of "Balloon Animals." Jonathan finished his Bachelor's Degree in Literature in his thirties. During this time, he published various short stories.
He has since written a number of novels, which generally take death as a central theme. Dunne's first book, "Balloon Animals," was published in 2012. It talks about Jonny Rowe, who goes from Ireland to the USA using a red balloon with his grandfather's remains inside it. The main character feels he was responsible for his grandpa's passing during his birthday party.
Jonathan's second book was "Living Dead Lovers," which follows Valentina "Cabbage" Moone, a medium who falls in love with Marty "Magma" Molloy, a dead racecar driver. Dunne's other titles include "The Nobody Show," "Hide the Elephant," "Hearts Anonymous," and "Lighthouse Jive."
Finally, at #11 is Sarah Rees Brennan, a bestselling author in the UK. She was born on the 21st of September 1983. She obtained her Master's Degree in Creative Writing and worked in Surrey, England as a librarian.
Brennan has been writing since she was 5. She wrote her first fantasy novel, "The Demon's Lexicon," while taking her MA, and it was published in 2009. It talks about Nick and Alan Ryves, two brothers who fight monsters and demons. Her debut work received positive response and numerous awards. It was chosen as one of the ALA Top Ten Best Books in 2010. The publication was a finalist for the Cybils and Leeds Book Awards as well.
Sarah has co-written other novels, including "Team Human," "The Bane Chronicles," "Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy," and "In Other Lands."