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Mary Beckett

 

We are very sad to announce that Mary Beckett died on 10 November 2013 at the age of 87. She was one of the finest writers of her generation and captured the voice of ordinary women in Belfast. She was greatly loved by her family, her friends and all those who were touched by her writing.

Mary Beckett began writing short stories when she was 23, first for BBC radio and then for literary magazines in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. In 1980 Poolbeg Press in Ireland brought out a collection of her short stories, A Belfast Woman. In 1987 Bloomsbury published her first novel, Give them Stones, which has also appeared in America through  Beech Tree / William Morrow. Beech Tree have also published A Belfast Woman.

Her next collection for Bloomsbury was A Literary Woman, described by the Sunday Times as "a striking collection... immensely effective". She has also written children's books, including A Family Tree [Poolbeg Press] and Hannah, or the Pink Balloons [Marino].

 

Mary Beckett

Books

 

Hannah or Pink Balloons

Hannah and her brothers, Mark and Ben, go to stay for six weeks with their Belfast grandmother while their parents are away. She lives nearby but Hannah, in particular, is to find that life only a few streets away can be very different from what she us used to.
Marino
ISBN 1-86023-032-6

 

Hannah or Pink Balloons

A Literary Woman

"The unusual quality of Beckett's writing lies in the sharpness of her discreetly conveyed perceptions. Nothing is stated directly; everything is suggested by artful juxtaposition of images or the unexpected twist of a sentence."
Miranda Seymour, The Sunday Times

 

A Literary Woman

Give Them Stones

"Mary Beckett has succeeded admirably in capturing the voice of this 'perfectly ordinary' woman of Belfast."
Anne-Marie Conway, Times Literary Supplement

 

Give Them Stones

A Belfast Woman

"For Mary Beckett is an extraordinary miniaturist of ordinary lives, lives of quiet despair sometimes relieved by quixotic gestures of defiance."
Brian Moore

 

A Belfast Woman

A Family Tree

Bob, Kate and Jim are sent to stay with relatives when their mother is about to have twins.

 

Ali Lewis

Orla Was Six

Orla O'Neill lives in North Belfast. She has two brothers, Hugh and Art.

 

Ali Lewis

Orla At School

At School, Orla and her friends take part in a concert, visit the zoo and wait for tadpoles to turn into frogs.

 

Ali Lewis