Carlo Gébler

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Carlo Gébler
Born (1954-08-21) August 21, 1954 (age 68)
Dublin, Ireland
  • Writer
  • television director
  • teacher
Alma materUniversity of York
  • Short story
  • history

Carlo Gébler (born 21 August 1954) is an Irish writer, television director, and teacher. His publications include novels, short stories, plays, historical works and memoirs. He is a member of Aosdána.

Early life[edit]

Gébler was born in Dublin, the elder son of the Irish writers Ernest Gébler and Edna O'Brien. Carlo was originally named Karl after Karl Marx.[1] He moved with his parents to London in 1958.[2] His parents separated in 1962.[3] After the separation Carlo and his younger brother at first stayed with their father but later went to live with their mother. Carlo had a difficult relationship with his father, from whom he was later estranged for many years.[4]


Gébler attended Bedales School.[5] He is a graduate of the University of York, where he studied English. He later graduated from the National Film and Television School.[6] In 2009 he was awarded a PhD by Queen's University Belfast.[7]


Gébler directed his first film for television in 1979 and has continued to work frequently in that medium. He won the Best Regional Documentary RTS Award for his 1998 production Put to the Test.[2]

Gébler's first novel, The Eleventh Summer, was published in 1985 and was soon succeeded by August in July in 1986 and Work and Play in 1987. In 1988 his first non-fiction book, Driving through Cuba: An East-West Journey was published, followed by novels in 1990 and 1991.[2] Gébler's many subsequent works include plays and screenplays, libretti, children's books, short stories, novels and several memoirs.

Several of Gébler's novels are based on historical murder cases. Reviewing the 2011 novel, The Dead Eight, based on events that took place in rural Tipperary in 1940, Julian Evans described Gébler as an "overlooked novelist" with a "Swiftian understanding of the world’s secret machinations".[8]

In 2000 he published Father and I, a memoir of his relationship with his emotionally abusive father, from whom he was estranged for much of his life.[4] His 2014 biography of his father, The Projectionist: The Story of Ernest Gébler is based on Ernest's diaries and notes for an unwritten autobiography, which Carlo had inherited on his father's death in 1998.[9] The TLS review of The Projectionist noted the author's "emotional empathy" and remarked that "this loving care gives the subject importance beyond the surface facts".[10] Gébler's relationship with his father also figures largely in his 2015 memoir Confessions of a Catastrophist.[11]

From 1991 to 1997 Gébler worked with prisoners at the Maze Prison as a creative writing tutor. From 1997 to 2015 he was writer in residence at HM Prison Maghaberry. He has described his prison teaching experience as "a time when, I assert, I learnt more than at any other time in my life".[12]

Gébler teaches a course on "Writing for a Living" at Trinity College Dublin's Oscar Wilde Centre, where he is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing.[13] He has also taught at Queen's University Belfast, where he was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow in 2009.[6]

Gébler has been a member of Aosdána since 1990.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Carlo Gébler lives in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. He is married and has five children.[5] He has a younger brother, Sasha Gébler, who is an architect.[14]


  1. ^ Merritt, Stephanie (24 September 2000). "Sons of the father: Both called Karl". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Błachnio, Joanna (2012). "Gébler, Carlo, 1954-". Literature Online biography. ProQuest LLC.
  3. ^ Sweeney, Tanya (20 September 2015). "Books: The ugly side of Mr Gentleman". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Macleish, William H. (2 December 2001). "The Tyrant". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Carlo Gébler". Lagan Press. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Carlo Gébler". Literature. British Council. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Carlo Gébler". Troubles Archive. Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  8. ^ Evans, Julian (21 October 2011). "The Dead Eight by Carlo Gébler". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  9. ^ Haverty, Anne (17 October 2015). "The Projectionist: The Story of Ernest Gébler, by Carlo Gébler". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. ^ Self, John (17 June 2016). "The unimportance of being Ernest". TLS (5907): 29.
  11. ^ O'Sullivan, Marese (23 March 2015). "Carlo Gébler: The catastrophist & catharsis in writing". Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  12. ^ Gébler, Carlo (17 April 2016). "Author Carlo Gébler's inside stories of prison life may be fiction, but shed fresh light on an inmate's lot". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Carlo Gébler B.A. (University of York), NFTS (Graduate), PhD (QUB)". Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  14. ^ Walker, Gail (23 July 2005). "Secret & lies: Carlo Gébler". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 30 September 2016.