Maeve Binchy

The EPIC team are remembering Maeve Binchy, one of Ireland’s most beloved and successful authors, as this Sunday (30th July) marks the fifth anniversary of her passing.

Maeve’s Life of Adventure

We tend to associate the beloved Irish writer Maeve Binchy with Dalkey. The Dublin suburb is both where Binchy was born and where she spent the latter years of her life with her husband and fellow-writer, Gordon Snell. Meave, however, led of life of adventure far beyond Ireland’s shores. Not only have her books have travelled all over the world, selling over 40 million copies – but she also did her own fair share of travelling. During her early career as a teacher, she spent time working in Israel on a kibbutz, and lived in London from the early 1970s until 1980. It was while on the kibbutz that Binchy’s career as a writer began, although it wasn’t her intention:

I never wanted to write. I just wrote letters home from a kibbutz in Israel to reassure my parents that I was still alive and well fed and having a great time. They thought these letters were brilliant and sent them to a newspaper. So I became a writer by accident. 

In Maeve’s Words

To celebrate Maeve’s life, we’ve pulled together some of her pithiest, wittiest quotes:

  1. Nobody is ordinary if you know where to look.
  2. We are all the heroes and heroines of our own lives. 
  3. I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.
  4. The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story. It doesn’t matter where we were born or how we grew up.
  5. Writing is a bit like going on a diet; you should either tell everyone or no one
  6. The whole art of life is knowing the right time to say things.
  7. I’m getting better, happier and nicer as I grow older, so I would be terrific in a couple of hundred years’ time.
  8. I had a very happy childhood, which is unsuitable if you’re going to be an Irish writer.
  9. If you don’t go to a dance, you’ll never be rejected, but you don’t get to dance, either.
  10. If you’re going on a plane journey, you’re more likely to take one of my stories than Finnegan’s Wake.

We’re honoured to feature Maeve at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum as a wonderful ambassador for Irish literature and culture. To learn more about Maeve Binchy and her writing, visit her website.