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Peter Sheridan
Peter Sheridan

One of Ireland's major contemporary playwrights,
as well as a screenwriter, actor, and film director


NYS Writers Institute, September 30, 2004
4:15 p.m. Seminar | HU 354, Humanities Bldg., Uptown Campus
7:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

 


PROFILE
Peter Sheridan
is one of Ireland's major contemporary playwrights, as well as a screenwriter, actor, and film director. Sheridan's first novel, "Every Inch of Her," was published in the United States in September 2004 (ISBN 0142004340). The book appeared in other parts of the English-speaking world under the title "Big Fat Love" in 2003.

 

Set in working-class Dublin, "Every Inch of Her" is the story of Philo, an obese, tattooed, foul-mouthed, and loving mother of five, who takes refuge from her abusive husband in a convent, and who transforms the lives of everyone she meets, from nuns to senior citizens living in the convent's nursing home.

"Philo's largeness is not just physical, her personality is also super-sized, and like an unstoppable force of nature she barrels through these pages… it is she who keeps this narrative rolling along at great speed." - "Irish Times"

". . .has the texture of experience, of a life lived and examined. It may be a first novel; it is also the point that Sheridan's career has been leading towards. He has found a niche for his quirks and his contradictions, a medium that embraces his passions and enthusiasm." - The London "Times"

Every Inch of HerTogether with his brother, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jim Sheridan, Peter Sheridan helped found the Project Arts Centre, Dublin's preeminent avant-garde theater. Peter Sheridan's plays have also been performed at other leading theatres, including London's Royal Court Theatre and Dublin's Abbey Theatre. For his work as a playwright, Sheridan has received a number of awards, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Abbey Theatre Bursary.

Peter Sheridan's best-known plays include "The Liberty Suit" (1977), set in a detention center for juvenile delinquents; "Emigrants" (1978), a tale of poor Irish laborers in 19th century England; "Diary of a Hunger Strike" (1982), the story of the famous H-Block Hunger Strike at Belfast Prison in 1972; and, most recently, "Finders Keepers" (2004), a teenage coming-of-age story set in Dublin's working-class Docklands in the 1960s.

Though not as well known in the U. S. as his émigré brother Jim, whose films as a director include "In America" (2002), "In the Name of the Father" (1993), and "My Left Foot" (1989), Peter Sheridan is also a filmmaker. His short film, "The Breakfast" (1998), received the Prix Arte Europe Award at the Best International Film Festival. In 2000, he adapted and directed "Borstal Boy" (2000), a feature-length film set in an English reform school, and based on the autobiography of Irish poet and political activist Brendan Behan.

44, Doublin Made meThe second of seven children born to a poor North Dublin family, Peter Sheridan was the first student from his disadvantaged neighborhood high school to be admitted to a university. Sheridan's two memoirs, "44: Dublin Made Me" (1999) and "Forty-seven Roses" (2002), feature tales of his boisterous Dublin boyhood and his parents' troubled marriage. "44: Dublin Made Me" recounts the impact of Sixties culture (the Beatles, drugs and sex) on his working class Irish family, and sheds light on Sheridan's own formation as an artist.

A unique work in the genre of the family memoir, "Forty-seven Roses" focuses largely on the life of Sheridan's father's mistress, Doris, a Protestant Englishwoman who carried on a 47-year relationship with his Irish Catholic father, principally through love letters.

 

Additional Links:
Writers Online Magazine Article

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.