Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Irish Writer/Reporter O'Faolain Dies at 68

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Irish Writer/Reporter O'Faolain Dies at 68

Article excerpt

Nuala O'Faolain -- a journalist and feminist who gained international fame with her outspoken 1996 memoir Are You Somebody? -- died Monday of lung cancer, weeks after revealing her illness on the radio. She was 68. At the time of her cancer diagnosis, she had been offering weekly RTE radio commentary on the U.S. presidential race from her second home in New York City. O'Faolain had worked as a television producer and reporter for the British Broadcasting Corp. and RTE, and gained a national readership as an Irish Times columnist starting in the mid-1980s.

She became a best-selling author on both sides of the Atlantic in 1996 with the publication of Are You Somebody? The book, initially intended to be a collection of her Irish Times columns, evolved into an unusually intimate, even risque memoir that became an international bestseller.

In it, she recounted her tough family upbringing with a philandering father and alcoholic mother, descent into her own alcohol abuse, and a lifetime struggle to attain professional, social and sexual fulfillment. O'Faolain, who was a University College Dublin lecturer in literature before becoming one of Ireland's best-known journalists, went on to publish three more books: the novel My Dream of You in 2001, a second memoir titled Almost Therein 2003, and the biography The Story of Chicago May in 2005. …

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