Short story writer and novelist

Claire Keegan was born in County Wicklow, the youngest of a large family. She travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana when she was seventeen, and studied English and Political Science at Loyola University. She returned to Ireland in 1992 and lived for a year in Cardiff, Wales, where she undertook an MA in creative writing and taught undergraduates at the University of Wales.

Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review and Best American Stories. She has won the William Trevor Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Olive Cook Award and the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award 2009. Other awards include The Hugh Leonard Bursary, The Macaulay Fellowship, The Martin Healy Prize, The Kilkenny Prize and The Tom Gallon Award. Claire was twice the recipient of the Francis MacManus Award, and she was also a Wingate Scholar. Trinity College Dublin and Pembroke College Cambridge have chosen Keegan as the 2021 Briena Staunton Visiting Fellow. 

The American writer Richard Ford, who selected her short story Foster as winner of the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award 2009, wrote in the winning citation of Keegan’s “thrilling” instinct for the right words and her “patient attention to life’s vast consequence and finality".

Keegan is also included in a permanent exhibition at the new Museum of Literature, Ireland, which opened in 2019. The exhibition celebrates great Irish writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

She is internationally renowned as a teacher of creative writing. She lives in Ireland.

Foster confirms Claire Keegan's talent. She creates luminous effects with spare material, so every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.

Hilary Mantel
on Foster

Foster is a thing of finely honed beauty and cumulative power, a story that deals in suggestion, exactitude and telling detail.

Sean O'Hagan
Guardian on Foster

Foster puts on display an imposing array of formal beauties at the service of a deep and profound talent [...] Claire Keegan makes the reader sure there are no simple stories, and that art is essential to life.

Richard Ford
on Foster

Perfect short stories.

Anne Enright
Guardian on Walk the Blue Fields


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