Clare Boylan

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Clare Boylan

Clare Boylan (21 April 1948 – 16 May 2006) was an Irish author, journalist and critic for newspapers, magazines and many international broadcast media.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Dublin, Boylan began her career as a journalist at the (now defunct) Irish Press. In 1974 she won the Journalist of the Year award when working in the city for the Evening Press. Later in her career she edited the glossy magazine Image, before largely giving up journalism to focus on a career as an author.

Her novels are Holy Pictures (1983), Last Resorts (1984), Black Baby (1988), Home Rule (1992), Beloved Stranger (1999), Room for a Single Lady (1997) (which won the Spirit of Light Award and was optioned for a film) and Emma Brown (2003). The latter work is a continuation of a 20-page fragment written by Charlotte Brontë before her death.

Boylan's short stories are collected in A Nail on the Head (1983), Concerning Virgins (1990) and That Bad Woman (1995). The film Making Waves, based on her short story "Some Ladies on a Tour", was nominated for an Oscar in 1988.

Her non-fiction includes The Agony and the Ego (1994) and The Literary Companion to Cats (1994). She wrote introductions to the novels of Kate O'Brien and Molly Keane and adapted Molly Keane's novel Good Behaviour as the classic serial for BBC Radio 4 (2004). Boylan's work has been translated as far afield as Russia and Hong Kong.

In later life, she lived in County Wicklow with her husband Alan Wilkes. She died after a lengthy struggle with ovarian cancer, aged 58.


  • "Clare Boylan: Irish author who achieved wide acclaim with Emma Brown, the completion of a two-chapter fragment by Charlotte Brontë". The Times. London. 18 May 2006. p. 61. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  • "Irish novelist Clare Boylan dies". RTÉ News. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  • Jane McDonnell (20 May 2006). "Obituary: Clare Boylan". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-29.