Irish-born writer to make second vist to SJU Nov. 20

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November 7, 2019

Aine Greaney

Áine Greaney, an Irish-born writer, novelist and essayist, will be making her second appearance at Saint John’s University with a reception and informal conversation from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Saint John’s Pottery Studio.

The event, which is free and open to the public and will include beverages, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. It is co-sponsored by the SJU Chair in Critical Thinking and Saint John’s Pottery.

At one time, Greaney had a brief career as a primary-school teacher in an isolated, four-teacher school in Ireland. But in 1986, she immigrated to the U.S. and became a writer. She had never published anything until she came to America, alone, at age 24.

“After working the usual hodgepodge of minimum-wage jobs, I went back to college to study for a master’s degree in English,” Greaney wrote on her website. “I also got accepted to a fiction-writing intensive at the New York State Writers Institute at the State University of New York. There, I studied with the Canadian author, Douglas Glover, a gifted teacher and writer who gave me the skills and courage to finish and publish a short story.”

cover of bookSince then, she has published five books. Her most recent work is 2019’s “Green Card and Other Essays,” which is a compilation of first-person essays on immigration.

Greaney tells her three-decade long journey from being an Irish citizen to a naturalized U.S. citizen. Her essays provide an intimate perspective on the challenges that many immigrants face when coming from all countries to the United States.

Her title essay “Green Card” was cited a notable “Best American Essays 2013,” and her essay “Sanctuary” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Greaney was born and raised in County Mayo, Ireland, and currently lives on Boston’s North Shore. She works as a health writer and communications professional for a number of nonprofit organizations.

Her awards and shortlists include a citation in Best American Essays. “Sanctuary,” her essay about family bereavement, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her second novel, Dance Lessons (2011), was one of 20 chosen by the National Women’s Book Association for National Reading Group Month.

Among her other writing awards and shortlists are the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing; The Fish Anthology (which is a yearly short story anthology based in Ireland published by Fish Publishing that collects the best short fiction published annually in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and other English-speaking nations); the Rubery International Book Award; the Frank O'Connor Award; the Irish News Short Story Award; and Indie Lit 2011.

During her first visit to SJU in March 2016, Greaney held a conversation and reading from “Dance Lessons.” That was a contemporary novel set in rural Ireland and greater Boston which examined the lives of three women, and the relationships and solitude in their lives.

“This is my second visit to this beautiful campus,” Greaney said on her website about her visit to SJU. “I will be presenting in the Pottery Studio and meeting with students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s.”

Her other books include “Writer with a Day Job” (2011), “The Sheep Breeders Dance and Other Stories” (2006) and “The Big House” (2003, out of print).

Recently, she has published or broadcast personal essays in various outlets, including National Public Radio, the Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, Huffington Post, Generation Emigration (The Irish Times) and The Feminist Wire.

Greaney also leads wellness and creative writing workshops at various locations on the North Shore of Boston and throughout New England.