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.

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.

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 lives in rural Ireland and was a visiting professor at Villanova University in 2008.

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