This year 2022, marks 40 years since the publication of Maeve Binchy’s debut novel “Light A Penny Candle”. Maeve Binchy was one of Ireland’s greatest female writers who wrote novels about love and romance in Ireland. Regarded as the ‘Queen Mum of Irish popular fiction’, she published 17 books and sold more than 40million copies in 37 languages. Among her most popular books were ‘Light a Penny Candle’ (1982), ‘Echoes’ (1985), ‘Circle of Friends’ (1990) and ‘Tara Road’ (1998). Two of her books ‘The Lilac Bus’ and ‘Echoes’, were made into TV films, while ‘Circle of Friends’, ‘Tara Road’ and ‘How About You’ were all made into feature films.
The evocative and rich themes in her books reflected Irish women’s lives and covered women’s friendships, romance, betrayal, faithless lovers, alcoholism, the clash of Irish society with the Catholic church and unwanted pregnancies – most often set against the backdrop of Irish village life..
Binchy had a natural talent for storytelling, she wrote the way she spoke, with great warmth and humour and in doing so she reached into the hearts of millions of readers across the globe.
Born in Dalkey, County Dublin, (28 May 1939), Maeve was the eldest of four children; she studied at University College Dublin, worked as a teacher at various girls’ schools and prior to becoming a novelist she was a journalist with her own column at The Irish Times.
2022 also marks the tenth anniversary year of Maeve Binchy’s death; (she died July 30th 2012, aged 72). At the time of her death Ireland’s Prime Minister, Enda Kelly, proclaimed that Ireland has ‘lost a national treasure’.
To remember Maeve in this new year and to mark these Anniversaries, ICC Digital is delighted to bring you this unique, never seen before, interview with Maeve Binchy from 1999. Here she is interviewed by the poet, writer and broadcaster Theo Dorgan.