Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland's finest writers. His academic posts include Honorary Fellow in Writing at the University of Iowa (1984) and Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin (1995-6). His early plays include Boss Grady's Boys (1990), which opened in 1988, and won the BBC/Stewart Parker Award. His play The Steward of Christendom (1995), was first staged at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in March 1995, an 'Out-of-Joint' Production with Donal McCann in the title role, subsequently transferred to Broadway. It won the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, the Ireland/America Literary Prize, the Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play and the Writers' Guild Award (Best Fringe Play). Sebastian Barry also won the Lloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year award in the same year. Our Lady of Sligo (1998) was joint winner of the Peggy Ramsay Play Award, and was seen off-Broadway, and Hinterland, premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and the Royal National Theatre, London in 2002. Whistling Psyche (2004), and The Pride of Parnell Street (2007), are two interweaving monologues. His latest play is Tales of Ballycumber (2009).
Barry has also written poetry, including the collections The Water-Colourist (1983) and Fanny Hawke Goes to the Mainland Forever (1989); a novel for children,Elsewhere: the Adventures of Belemus (1985); and short novels, Time Out of Mind/Strappado Square (1983).
His novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998); translated into seven languages; Annie Dunne (2002), set in Wicklow in the 1950s; and A Long Long Way (2005), shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and winner of the 2006 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award.
Sebastian Barry lives in County Wicklow, Ireland. His recent novel, The Secret Scripture (2008), was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and winner of multiple awards, including the 2008 Costa Book of the Year Award, the 2009 Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and the 2009 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction). It also won the 2010 Irish Book of the Decade Award. His latest work, On Canaan's Side, was published in 2011 and shortlisted for the 2011 Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and the 2012 Walter Scott Prize.