06:19 Tuesday 25 March 2014

Room author Emma Donoghue to talk at Cambridge Literary Festival

Written byELLA WALKER

Cambridge Literary Festival - Emma Donoghue Cambridge Literary Festival - Emma Donoghue

Dublin born Emma Donoghue is the author of controversial, Man Booker shortlisted Room. Even if you haven’t read it, you’ll know it. Inspired by the Josef Fritzl case, it’s told through the eyes of a little boy who has never been outside and lives in a small room with his mother. It was everywhere, and now she’s back with a new book, and a Cambridge Literary Festival appearance.

She’s no stranger to the city, having completed a PhD in 18th-century literature at Cambridge University, while writing her debut novel, Stir Fry (1994).

The 44-year-old is now based in Canada with her two children and partner Chris Roulston, and, aside from novels, dabbles in short stories, young adult fiction, stage and screenplays; including the upcoming film adaptation of Room.

She’s been lucky, and talented, enough to make her living as a writer since she was 23, penning tales that explore the murkier sides of human nature. She recently explained her fascination with dark plotlines to the Independent: “Why do I write about hideous things?” she says. “It could be because my own life has been extremely easy. I’m drawn to stories where the stakes are high and people make desperate decisions.”

Her new book, Frog Music, IS her first foray into crime fiction and is suitably macabre. Based on a true story and set in San Francisco in 1876 during a heatwave, exacerbated by a smallpox epidemic, it focuses on three former stars of the Parisian circus and an unsolved murder. ..

Find out all about it when she is interviewed by Robert McCrum, The Observer’s literary editor.

:: Emma Donoghue, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Tuesday, April 1 at 7.30pm. Tickets £8-£10 from (01223) 300085 / adcticketing.com

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