Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston, one of Ireland’s leading writers, was born in 1930 in Dublin.

She is the daughter of Denis Johnston and actress/director Shelah Richards.

During her sterling career, she has produced 20 novels and a number of plays. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Shadows on our Skin, 1977), won the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest in 1979 and a Lifetime Achievement from the Irish Book Awards.

She is a member of Aosdana. Her latest novel Naming the Stars, as with many of her works, is an exploration of and the quiet unveiling of deeply buried family secrets.

Her Invisible Worm (1992) took its title from Blake: (O Rose thou art sick./The invisible worm,/That flies in the night/ In the howling storm:/ Has found out thy bed/ Of crimson joy:/ And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy.)