Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, Emma Donoghue is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic). She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one eye-opening year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990, she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin (unfortunately, without learning to actually speak French). Donoghue moved to England, and in 1997 received a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. From the age of 23, she has earned her living as a writer, and has been lucky enough to never have an ‘honest job’ since she was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 Donoghue settled in London, Ontario, where she live with Chris Roulston and their son Finn (12) and daughter Una (9).