Alannah Hopkin


1949- ; b. Singapore, dg. of doctor in the Colonial Service; ed. Cork, Sussex (Latin American Studies), and Queen Mary’s College, London; settled in Ireland at 31; passed a year alone in Ballydehob, Co. Kerry; met Aidan Higgins [q.v.] through friends, and married him in 1997; author of A Joke Goes a Long Way in the Country (1982), set in 1945, and The Outhaul (1985), both novels; also The Living Legend of St. Patrick (1989) and The Ship of Seven Murders (2010), concerning the captain and crew of the brig “Mary Russell” in 1828 - based on research by Kathy Bunney; issued The Dogs of Inishere (2017), a first published collection of short stories; reviews for the Irish Examner; lives in Kinsale with Aidan Higgins [q.v.], m. in 1997; published A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins (2021). DIW

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  • A Joke Goes a Long Way in the Country (London: Hamish Hamilton 1982), 147pp.;
  • The Outhaul (London: Hamish Hamilton; Sphere 1985, q.pp.;
  • The Dogs of Inishere (Dalkey Archive Press 2017), 132pp.
Studies & Biography
  • The Living Legend of St. Patrick (London: Grafton 1989), 191pp.
  • Eating Scenery:  West Cork, The People and the Place Cork (Cork: Collins Press 2008), 245pp. [stories of Rory Gallagher, et al.]
  • The Ship of Seven Murders - A True Story of Madness & Murder (Cork: Collins Press 2010), 228pp.
  • A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins (Dublin: New Island Press 2021),
  • Inside Cork (Cork: Collins Press 1992), 153pp.
  • Ireland [Step-by-Step Ser.] (Singapore: Macmillan APA 2010), 124pp., ill [chiefly col.; maps; 23 cm. + 1 folded map.]
  • Cork and Southwest Ireland [Step-by-Step Ser.](Singapore: Macmillan APA 2011) 112pp.
  • Ireland [Berlitz Handbooks] (LondonBerlitz 2012), 304pp.
  • contrib. essay to Martin Finnin [Vangard ser., 1; gen. ed. John O'Regan] ](Kinsale: Gandon Editions 2007), 47pp., ill. [col. ports.; to coincide with Snippet from the seventh soup Exhibition].
  • contrib. to Explore Ireland [Insight Guides] (Singapore: Macmillan APA 2014), 144pp.;

See also Emily Hourican, ‘Novelist Alannah Hopkin: “It was so good when it was good”’ [interview-article] in Irish Independent, 12 June 2017) [see full text - as attached].

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The Dogs of Inishere (2017): a story collection from across Alannah Hopkin’s thirty-year career as a fiction and travel writer. The stories presented here move from adolescence to middle age, sensitive always to the particular social, emotional, and intellectual challenges of the different phases of a life. An adolescent girl bristles against the gendered assumptions and expectations of mid-60s London. A young writer struggles to commit fully to the artist’s life. A group of pub regulars in a sleepy seaside town observe the quiet disappoints of love and marriage. Along the way, Hopkin’s stories also wrestle and reckon with numerous literary influences, including Austen, Byron, Poe, Wilde, Lowry, and B.S. Johnson. (Dalkey Archive Press notice.)