Mary Lavin was an award-winning writer best known for her short stories, which range across all emotion and experience – but are particularly brilliant on the topic of widowhood. Born in East Walpole, Massachusetts, to Irish parents, she returned to live in Ireland as a child and spent most of her life in County Meath, where many of her stories are set. She was a writer under contract to The New Yorker magazine and received many honours, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, a number of Guggenheim Fellowships and an honorary doctorate the National University of Ireland. She received the title of Saoi from Aosdána and is the first woman writer to have a public space named after her in Dublin.