Joseph O'Connor
Joseph Victor O'Connor is an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 novelist. He is known for his 2002 historical novel Star of the Sea
Star of the Sea
Star of the Sea is an historical novel by the Irish writer Joseph O'Connor published in 2004. The novel is set in 1847 against the backdrop of the Irish famine....

. Before success as an author he was a journalist with the Sunday Tribune
Sunday Tribune
The Sunday Tribune was an Irish Sunday broadsheet newspaper published by Tribune Newspapers plc. It was edited in its final years by Nóirín Hegarty, who changed both the tone and the physical format of the newspaper from broadsheet to tabloid. Former editors include Conor Brady, Vincent Browne,...

newspaper and Esquire magazine
Esquire (magazine)
Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

. He is a regular contributor to Raidió Teilifís Éireann
Raidió Teilifís Éireann
Raidió Teilifís Éireann is a semi-state company and the public service broadcaster of Ireland. It both produces programmes and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet. The radio service began on January 1, 1926, while regular television broadcasts began on December 31, 1961, making...


Early life

Eldest of five children and brother of singer Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

, he is from the Glenageary
Glenageary is an area in the suburbs of south County Dublin, Ireland, part of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County.While there is no officially defined boundary, it is surrounded by the areas of Sallynoggin, Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire, Glasthule and Johnstown...

 area of south Dublin. His parents are Sean O'Connor, a structural engineer later turned barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

, and Marie O'Connor.

A graduate of University College Dublin
University College Dublin
University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

 (UCD) with an M.A. in Anglo-Irish Literature, O'Connor did post-graduate work at Oxford University and received a second M.A. from Leeds Metropolitan University
Leeds Metropolitan University
Leeds Metropolitan University is a British University with three campuses. Two are situated in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England while the third is situated in Bhopal, India...

's Northern School of Film and Television in screenwriting. In the late 1980s he worked for the British Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign; his second novel, Desperadoes, drew on his experiences in revolutionary Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...



His novel Cowboys and Indians (1991) was on the shortlist for the Whitbread Prize. In 2002, he wrote the novel Star of the Sea
Star of the Sea
Star of the Sea is an historical novel by the Irish writer Joseph O'Connor published in 2004. The novel is set in 1847 against the backdrop of the Irish famine....

which The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

listed as one of the top books of 2003. His most recent novel, Ghost Light is loosely based on the life of the actress Maire O'Neill
Maire O'Neill
-External links:**...

, born Mary "Molly" Allgood, and her relationship with the Irish playwright John Millington Synge
John Millington Synge
Edmund John Millington Synge was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, and collector of folklore. He was a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival and was one of the cofounders of the Abbey Theatre...

. It was published by Harvill Secker, London, 3 June 2010.

O'Connor has been a Research Fellow at the New York Public Library
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...

 and Visiting Professor of Creative Writing/Writer in Residence at Baruch College
Baruch College
Bernard M. Baruch College, more commonly known as Baruch College, is a constituent college of the City University of New York, located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, New York City. With an acceptance rate of just 23%, Baruch is among the most competitive and diverse colleges in the nation...

, the City University of New York.

He is a regular contributor to Drivetime
Drivetime (RTÉ)
Drivetime is an Irish news and current affairs radio programme broadcast by RTÉ Radio 1 on Mondays to Fridays between 16.30 and 19.00. It attracts approximately 229,000 listeners daily....

, an evening news and current affairs programme on RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...


Personal life

O'Connor is married to the television and film writer, Anne-Marie Casey. They have two sons. He and his family have lived in London and Dublin, and from time to time in Manhattan during his work in New York City.

Selected publications

  • Cowboys and Indians (1991)
  • True Believers (Short Stories)
  • Even the Olives are Bleeding: The Life and Times of Charles Donnelly (1993)
  • Desperadoes (1993)
  • The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994)
  • The Irish Male at Home and Abroad (1996)
  • Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America (1996)
  • The Salesman (1998)
  • Inishowen (2000)
  • The last of the Irish Males (2001)
  • Star of the Sea
    Star of the Sea
    Star of the Sea is an historical novel by the Irish writer Joseph O'Connor published in 2004. The novel is set in 1847 against the backdrop of the Irish famine....

  • Redemption Falls (2007)
  • Ghost Light (2010)


O'Connor received the Irish PEN Award 2012 for outstanding contribution to Irish Literature.

External links

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