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Emma Donoghue is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Her novel Room sold more than two million copies and won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Donoghue scripted the book’s adaptation which was nominated for four Academy Awards. The Wonder was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Donoghue co-wrote the screen adaptation for Netflix. The Pull of the Stars was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Born in Dublin, she now lives in London, Ontario.

Award History

2023 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for Learned By Heart

Jury Citation

“A stunning, heartbreaking, and incredibly moving story of passion, desire, and love! Thoroughly grounded in research on Anne Lister’s extensive journals, Emma Donoghue offers readers a profoundly unique, riveting, fiercely emotional, and compelling novel about two girls in love and its effect on the rest of their lives. Masterfully and inventively plotted, Learned by Heart is a story of rebellious love and rebellious women in a dangerous time.” — 2023 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Jury (francesca ekwuyasi, Alix Hawley, MG Vassanji)

Jury Citation

Room is a brave novel that, through pure artistry, achieves a fine balance on a number of sharp edges: fierce love and unspeakable cruelty, delicate humour and glimpses of profound darkness. Rarely does such risk-taking pay off so richly. Emma Donoghue’s complex, multi-layered novel about being trapped illuminates the wild bravery of childhood, the bond between mother and son, the acquisition of language and how it can be jam-packed and bursting with meaning or emptied out. Here is a boiled-down portrait of what it means to live with others and to live without them, all the different kinds of cages we build for others (and ourselves) and all those feelings that, try as we might, can’t be contained.” — 2010 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Lisa Moore, Andrew Pyper, Eden Robinson)