Jennifer Johnston in Conversation

Magherafelt, 14 Oct 2017

Contact Details

Seamus Heaney HomePlace, 45 Main Street, Bellaghy, BT45 8HT

Jennifer Johnston is widely regarded as one of Ireland's most important contemporary novelists. Like that of Seamus Heaney, her work draws on her own experience of growing up in Ireland and her writing is infused with her experience of life as a middle class Protestant. She favours exploration of the small but important moments in life, the relationships and events that come to define her characters. As she herself says, 'I'd like people to find small truths in my work and go on doing so'.

Born in Dublin in 1930, her first novel, The Captains and the Kings was published in 1972. Since then, she has published many more novels, including Shadows on our Skin (1977), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and The Old Jest (1979), set during the War of Independence and which won the 1979 Whitbread Novel Award. The Old Jest was later filmed as The Dawning, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Now approaching her 87th birthday, Jennifer will be in conversation with her friend and fellow novelist Martina Devlin, author of About Sisterland, The House Where it Happened and Ship of Dreams, to discuss her career of almost 50 years, her reputation and her legacy.

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