Hardie, Kerry 1951-

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Hardie, Kerry 1951-


Born 1951, in Singapore; married; husband's name Sean. Education: Attended York University, England.


Home—County Kilkenny, Ireland.


Writer, novelist, and poet. Worked as a journalist for the BBC and also worked for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


Friends Provident National Poetry Prize; Hennessey Award for Poetry, joint winner, 1995; UK National Poetry Award, 1996.


In Sickness: Poems, HU Publications (Belfast, Ireland), 1995.

A Furious Place (poetry), Gallery Press (Oldcastle, Ireland), 1996.

Camping, Bernard Stone, Turret Books (London, England), 1997.

Cry for the Hot Belly (poetry), Gallery Press (Oldcastle, Ireland), 2000.

Hannie Bennet (novel), HarperCollins (London, England), 2000, published as A Winter Marriage, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2003.

The Sky Didn't Fall (poetry), Gallery (Oldcastle, Ireland), 2003.

The Bird Woman: A Novel, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.

The Silence Came Close, Gallery (Oldcastle, Ireland), 2006.


Kerry Hardie, formerly a reporter for the BBC in Northern Ireland, is a poet and novelist. In 1996, Hardie published A Furious Place, a book of poetry that embraces the familiar themes of women's domestic lives and touches upon Hardie's personal struggles with a physically debilitating illness. Patricia Monaghan, Booklist contributor, wrote that Hardie is a "fine, young poet."

Hardie's second poetry collection, Cry for the Hot Belly, contains poems of a serious and sometimes melancholic nature. In this work, the poet explores the theme of death as experienced in nature and in human beings. A writer for Kirkus Reviews praised Hardie for the "fine, masterful details" of her poetry. The reviewer also commended the poet's ability to write somber poetry that never sinks into the quagmire of depression.

In her 2003 poetry collection, The Sky Didn't Fall, Hardie writes about how humans struggle to survive when they encounter disasters in their lives. Many of the poems deal with death and the loss of a love one. Referring to The Sky Didn't Fall as Hardie's "most impressive collection of poetry," Catherine Kilcoyne, writing in the Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies, also called the collection "sombre yet optimistic, introspective and thoughtful as well as musical in quality."

A Winter Marriage, Hardie's first novel, tells the story of Hannie Bennet, a fifty-two-year-old woman who decides to marry the elderly Ned Renvyle. Hannie has already been divorced three times, but she realizes that she is growing older, and seeks stability for herself and her adolescent son, Joss. Thus, she moves from Africa to the Irish countryside where her new husband has retired. As the book progresses, Hannie feels increasingly alienated from her inquisitive Irish neighbors, and her tension increases when Joss, a troubled boy, arrives at their new home.

"A somber, haunting debut novel," remarked a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews. Margaret Flanagan, Booklist contributor, called the story "a taut psychological thriller." In a Library Journal article, Nanci Milone Hill commented that Hardie's work is "suspenseful," and she noted the use of "lyrical" language throughout the book. Catherine Lockerbie, writing in the New York Times praised Hardie's "workmanlike, well-handled storytelling." According to J. Gordon in a Nighttimes online article, A Winter Marriage "is a dark, depressive-yet-impressive relationship-based novel with a surprisingly deep moral message."

In The Bird Woman: A Novel, Hardie tells the story of Ellen McKinnon, a protestant from Northern Ireland who hides the fact that she is a healer. Ellen has left her first husband, who abused her, and is living in southern Ireland with the Catholic sculptor Liam and her new family. Despite Liam's encouragement to use her healing abilities, Ellen refuses and their marriage faces a crisis as Ellen cannot seem to overcome depression and a hostile outlook on life. When she returns to Northern Ireland to care for her dying mother, she soon finds that the life she has come to love with Liam is further threatened by past secrets coming to light. "In a voice uncompromisingly tough, without the witty charm or sugarcoating of so much contemporary female-driven fiction, Hardie creates resonant characters unafraid to navigate through the contradictions inherent in every life," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic. Beth E. Andersen, writing in the Library Journal, commended the author for "beautifully portraying the complicated atmospheres of the driven interior life of a modern Irish woman." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "patient readers will be rewarded with a tender exploration of a woman's search for a sense of place."



Booklist, February 1, 1997, Patricia Monaghan, review of A Furious Place, p. 921; November 15, 2002, Margaret Flanagan, review of A Winter Marriage, pp. 571-572.

Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies, spring-summer, 2005, Catherine Kilcoyne, review of The Sky Didn't Fall, p. 216.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2000, review of Cry for the Hot Belly, p. 1587; October 1, 2002, review of A Winter Marriage, p. 1416; June 1, 2006, review of The Bird Woman: A Novel, p. 536.

Library Journal, November 15, 2002, Nanci Milone Hill, review of A Winter Marriage, p. 100; June 1, 2006, Beth E. Andersen, review of The Bird Woman, p. 107.

New York Times, December 22, 2002, Catherine Lockerbie, review of A Winter Marriage, p. 25.

Publishers Weekly, September 30, 2002, review of A Winter Marriage, p. 45; May 15, 2006, review of The Bird Woman, p. 46.


Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (May 2, 2007), Jennifer Peacey, review of The Bird Woman.

Authors on the Web,http://www.authorsontheweb.com/ (April 16, 2003), interview with Kerry Hardie.

Bookloons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (April 16, 2003), Hilary Williamson, review of A Winter Marriage; (May 2, 2007), Mary Ann Smyth, review of The Bird Woman.

BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 16, 2003), Anne Morris, review of A Winter Marriage.

MostlyFiction,http://mostlyfiction.com/ (April 16, 2003), Judi Clark, review of A Winter Marriage.

Nighttimes,http://www.nighttimes.com/nt_main.asp/ (April 16, 2003), J. Gordon, review of A Winter Marriage.

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