Marian Keyes is one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time. Though she was brought up in a home where a lot of oral story-telling went on, it never occurred to her that she could write. Instead she studied law and accountancy and finally started writing short stories in 1993 “out of the blue.” Though she had no intention of ever writing a novel she sent her short stories to a publisher, with a letter saying she’d started work on a novel. The publishers replied, asking to see the novel, and once her panic had subsided, she began to write what subsequently became her first book Watermelon.
It was published in Ireland in 1995, where it was an immediate, runaway success. Its chatty conversational style and whimsical Irish humour appealed to all age groups, and this appeal spread to Britain when Watermelon was picked as a Fresh Talent book. Other countries followed (most notably the US in 1997) and Marian is now published in thirty-three languages.
Marian’s books deal variously with modern ailments, including addiction, depression, domestic violence, the glass ceiling and serious illness, but always written with compassion, humour and hope.
In 2009, Marian experienced the start of a major depressive episode, and had to stop any work. Eventually she found that baking cakes helped her survive; and in 2012, she published Saved by Cake, which combines recipes with autobiography.
In 2014 and 2015, with the publication of the Woman Who Stole My Life, Marian appeared on TV programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing – It Takes Two, The Great British Bake Off Extra Slice and the Apprentice – You’ve Been Fired.
As well as novels she has written short stories, and articles for various magazines and other publications. She has published three collections of her journalism, titled Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet, and donated all royalties from Irish sales to the Simon Community, a charity which works with the homeless.
Marian was born in Limerick in 1963, and brought up in Cavan, Cork, Galway and Dublin; she spent her twenties in London, but is now living in Dún Laoghaire with her husband Tony. She includes among her hobbies, reading, movies, shoes, handbags and feminism.
Information on Book
‘Some people go to art galleries to receive an infusion of beauty, but other people it’s elaborate gardens, but I cant tell you the happy, happy hours, I’ve had lining my nail varnishes up on my bed, sometimes colour-coding them. Sometimes acting out West Side Story where a pink falls in love with an orange.’
‘I’m not a fan of perfume. Nevertheless, I get endless enjoyment from the ads and pass many a happy hour “doing” my own versions. Indeed, it’s a game that could be played by all the family “I am hirsute….. I am verbohen……I am certifiable. Certifiable. The new perfume from Marion Keyes.’
‘Hairdressers are not stupid. They have a low territorial cunning and hair salons are snake pits, hot beds of bitchiness, where each stylists regards all the others as mortal rivals and clients are jealously guarded.’
‘Because of the powerful hold sugar has on me, I can’t keep any in the house. But as luck would have it, I live five minutes’ drive from my parents, which is Trans-fat central – if you open a cupboard in their kitchen, you’re in very real danger of being brained by an avalanche of biscuits and their freezer is so jam-packed with magnums I sometimes worry that when I open the door the ice creams will explode at me, like chocolate-coated bullets.’
Extract from Book
“Addiction is often called the disease of more- because when we experience something pleasurable our brain produces dopamine (‘the happy hormone’) so if you’re an addict like me and you find something you like, you’ll keep replicating the experience in the hope of generating fresh hits of delightful dopamine.
The long and the short of it was, I needed more Chanel varnishes, and mercifully family and friends helped out. Each little bottle marked an occasion; my mammy gave me Vendetta as reimbursement for paying her milkman whilst she was in hospital with pneumonia; Anne handed over Azure as thanks for minding the Redzers; and Catriona bought me Atmosphere in Rome airport because she was flying back to New York and I was going home to Dublin and who knew when we’d see each other again.
I spent (and still do) on unholy amount of time on eBay, yearning after discontinued limited editions as rare as gold dust.”
I am a massive fan of Marian’s and have read pretty much everything she has written. This book was ideal for me as I read it just after my baby was born and because its almost as if each chapter is a short story it was perfect for reading in between dealing with my new born and the toddler. This book will make you laugh out loud and at times, I would properly belly laugh. It is a great book and if you have never read any of Marian’s books I think this is a great start. This is one book I would recommend.
Price – £3.99
Author Website available here.
Copy of Book available