Anne Devlin


Life
1951- ; b. Belfast, dg. Paddy Devlin (SDLP MP); briefly lived with family in Andersontown; scripted A Woman Calling (BBC2, 1982), followed by Venus de Milo, and The Long March (on N. Ireland); settled in Birmingham, 1984; wrote where Ourselves Alone (Birmingham Playhouse, Oct. 1985), centred on the sisters Frieda and Josie and their ‘sister’ Donna, realigning the political tag with women’s needs; transferred to Royal Court Th., Nov. 1985; and Kreeger Th., Washington, 1987; winner of Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the George Devine Award, 1985;
 
wrote acclaimed “Naming the Names” (BBC2, 1987); winner of Hennessy Award with “Passages”, a story successfully adapted for TV as “A Woman’s Calling”; winner of Samuel Beckett Award, 1988; published The Way-Paver (1986; reps. 1987, 1988), stories; also a play, Ourselves Alone (1986); has written film-scripts for Wuthering Heights and Women in Love; her play After Easter (Stratford-upon-Avon 1994) was directed by Michael Attenborough for the Royal Shakespeare Co. ATT

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Works
Short fiction, The Way-Paver (London: Faber & Faber 1986; reps. 1987, 1988, 1994) [incls. “Naming the Names”].

Plays, The Venus de Milo Instead (BBC 1987); The Long March (BBC 1984); A Woman Calling (BBC 1984); Ourselves Alone [with] A Woman Calling [and] The Long March (London: Faber & Faber 1986; rep. 1988); After Easter ([Stratford-upon-Avon:] RSC 1994), theatre programme [dir. Michael Attenborough at The Other Place).

See also ‘Writing the Troubles - Talks by Glenn Patterson, Anne Devlin and Colm Tóibín’, in Representing the Troubles: Text and Images 1970-2000, ed. Brian Cliff & Eibhear Walshe (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2004).

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Criticism
  • Elizabeth Doyle & John Keyes, ‘Women, War and Madness’ [feature article on Devlin], in Fortnight, 334 (Dec. 1994), pp.37-39;
  • Shaun Richards, ‘Progressive Regression in Contemporary Irish Culture’, [Pt. 3 of] ‘The Triple Play of Irish History’, in Irish Review (Winter-Spring 1997), pp.38-39;
  • Anthony Roche, ‘Northern Irish Drama: Imaging Alternatives’, in Contemporary Irish Drama From Beckett to McGuinness (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1995), pp.216-78, espec. 236-41;
  • Charlotte Headrick & with John Countryman, Contemporary Northern Irish Drama: Anne Devlin and John Boyd [Working papers in Irish Studies, 95/6-3] Nova University [Dept. of Liberal Arts] 1996), 25pp.;
  • Lisa M. Anderson, ‘Anne Devlin’ in Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995: A Research and Production Sourcebook, ed. Bernice Schrank & William Demastes (CT: Greenwood Press 1997), pp.93-96.
  • Enrica Cerquoni [interview], in Theatre Talk: Voices of Irish Theatre Practitioners, ed. Lilian Chambers, et. al., Ger Fitzgibbon, Eamonn Jordan, et al (Blackrock: Carysfort Press 2001), pp.107-23.
  • Enrica Cerquoni, ‘Women in Rooms: Landscapes of the Missing in Anne Devlin’s Ourselves Alone’, in Women in Irish Drama: A Century of Authorship and Representation, ed. Melissa Sihra (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2007), q.pp.

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Commentary
Shaun Richards, ‘Progressive Regression in Contemporary Irish Culture’, [being Pt. 3 of] ‘The Triple Play of Irish History’, in Irish Review (Winter-Spring 1997), pp.38-39, remarks on After Easter, in which the protagonist Greta, who has suffered a mental breakdown, how faced with a choice between her sister Aoife, ‘rooted and homely’, and her sister Helen, a naturalised Los Angelan. (Richards, p.40f.)

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References
Ann Owens Weekes, Attic Guide to Published Works of Irish Women Literary Writers (Dublin: Attic Press 1994), lists The Way-Paver (London: Faber & Faber 1986; rep. 1987, 1988; also 1994), short stories [incls. “Naming the Names”]; Ourselves Alone [play collection, includes A Woman Calling and The Long March] (London: Faber & Faber 1986; rep. 1988); After Easter (1994).

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Notes
After Easter (1994), orig. called The Pleiades and changed on reading George Steiner’s After Babel; Jeananne Crowley and Annie Farr. (See Elizabeth Doyle, review, Fortnight, Dec. 1994.)

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