Maeve Binchy (born 28 May 1940 Dalkey, County Dublin) is an Irish novelist, newspaper columnist and speaker. Educated at University College Dublin, she worked as a teacher then a journalist at The Irish Times and later become a writer of novels and short stories.
Many of her novels are set in Ireland, dealing with the tensions between urban and rural life, the contrasts between England and Ireland, and the dramatic changes in Ireland between World War II and the present day.
Her novel Circle of Friends was made into a 1995 Hollywood movie starring Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver with a radical change of ending.
Binchy announced in 2000 that she would not be going on tours with any more novels, but would be devoting her time to other activities, and to her husband, Gordon Snell, a children's author. She has written four further novels since then — Quentins, Night of Rain and Stars, Whitethorn Woods, and Heart and Soul. She lives in Dalkey, not far from where she grew up.
In 1978, Binchy won a Jacob's Award for her RTÉ play, Deeply Regretted By. A second award went to the lead actor, Donall Farmer. A 1993 photograph of her by Richard Whitehead belongs to the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and a painting of her by Maeve McCarthy, commissioned in 2005, is on display in the National Gallery of Ireland.
While some novels are complete stories (Circle of Friends, Light a Penny Candle) many of her novels revolve around a cast of interrelated characters (The Copper Beech, Silver Wedding, The Lilac Bus, Evening Class, Heart and Soul). Her later novels, Evening Class, Scarlet Feather, Quentins, and Tara Road, feature a continuum of recurring characters.