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Jennifer Johnston (born 12 January 1930 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist, winner of the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest in 1979, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1977. The Old Jest, a novel about the Irish War of Independence was later made into a film called The Dawning, starring Anthony Hopkins, produced by Sarah Lawson and directed by Robert Knights.


Personal life

She was born in Dublin, Ireland, to the Irish actor/director Shelah Richards and the playwright Denis Johnston, a cousin of the late actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, via Fitzgerald's mother, Edith. She was educated at Trinity College Dublin, and currently lives in Derry, Northern Ireland. She was born into the Church of Ireland and many of her novels deal with the fading of the Protestant Anglo-Irish ascendancy in the 20th century.

She is a member of Aosdána.




  • The Nightingale and Not the Lark (1981)
  • Indian Summer (1983)
  • Andante un Poco Mosso, in The Best Short Plays 1983, (1983)
  • The Porch (1986)
  • The Desert Lullaby: A Play in Two Acts (1996)

External links

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