Keyes, Marian 1963-

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Keyes, Marian 1963-


Born September 10, 1963, in Limerick, Munster, Ireland; parents names, Timothy and Mary; married December 29, 1995; husband's name Tony. Education: National University of Ireland, University College, Dublin, B.C.L., 1984.


Agent—Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown, Haymarket House, London SW1Y 4SP, England.


Writer. Formerly worked as an accountant.


Popular Fiction Award, Galaxy British Book Awards, 2007, for Anybody Out There.


Watermelon (novel), Poolbeg (Dublin, Ireland), 1995, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married (novel), Poolbeg (Dublin, Ireland), 1996, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Rachel's Holiday (novel), Poolbeg (Dublin, Ireland), 1998, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.

Last Chance Saloon (novel), Poolbeg (Dublin, Ireland), 1999.

No Dress Rehearsal (short novel), New Island (Dublin, Ireland), 2000.

Sushi for Beginners (novel), Poolbeg (Dublin, Ireland), 2001.

Under the Duvet: Notes on High Heels, Movie Deals, Wagon Wheels, Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families, and Other Calamities, Michael Joseph (London, UK), 2001.

Angels (novel), William Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.

The Other Side of the Story (novel), William Morrow (New York, NY), 2004.

Further under the Duvet (nonfiction), Michael Joseph (London, England), 2005.

Nothing Bad Ever Happens in Tiffany's (anecdotes), Penguin Books (London, England), 2005.

Cracks in My Foundation: Bags, Trips, Make-up Tips, Charity, Glory, and the Darker Side of the Story, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Anybody Out There? (novel), William Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.


Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married was adapted as a British television series in 1999. Watermelon was adapted as a British television movie, 2002. Last Chance Saloon was adapted as a feature film and released as Au secours, J'ai Trente Ans in 2004.


Marian Keyes wrote short stories before completing her first novel, Watermelon. The novel did so well that she received a three-book contract. She also studied the law but never became a lawyer. She then spent time in a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism and has been alcohol-free since leaving the clinic in 1994.

In Watermelon, twenty-nine-year-old Claire is told by her husband, James, that he is leaving her for their downstairs neighbor, and he delivers this news as Claire is giving birth in a London hospital. Claire retreats with baby Kate to the family home in Dublin, where her sisters, Anna and Helen, comfort her by providing the alcohol that keeps Claire drunk and crying over her fate. She gains control of her life as she loses weight on a rowing machine and meets Adam, a handsome, younger friend of Helen. "Claire's humor rarely flags as Keyes develops her situation into an eccentric romantic comedy," wrote Paula Friedman in the New York Times Book Review. As Claire and Adam progress into a serious relationship, James shows up in an attempt to reconcile their marriage, forcing Claire to make a decision. Booklist reviewer Mary Carroll noted the book's "intimacy and humor." A Kirkus Reviews reviewer called Watermelon "a candid, irresistibly funny debut." Jo Mannning, in a Library Journal review, enjoyed the "hilarious interior monologue."

Keyes's protagonist in Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married is a single woman who visits a fortune teller with her coworkers. Lucy dismisses the prediction that there is marriage in her future, but when the predictions made about her friends come true, she reconsiders her male friends to see if she can spot the beginnings of true love. She has several choices, but before she gets very far in her search, she steps in to care for her alcoholic and unpredictable father when her mother leaves him. It is in her relationship with her father that she learns some difficult lessons. Alexandra Shrake wrote in Booklist that "Keyes's tale is both hilarious and suspenseful, and so warmly told it feels just like comfy girl talk with a cherished friend." "Throughout, the effervescent narrative is fueled by witty repartee; though its outcome may be predictable, its sentiments are heartfelt, and its progress is sprightly," offered a contributor to Publishers Weekly. The book was "a ten-week bestseller in Ireland and was the third topselling novel in the UK" related Mike Burns in Europe. The novel was also adapted into a television series.

Keyes's third book, Rachel's Holiday, is the story of a young drug-addicted woman who seeks help in a Betty Ford Clinic-like treatment facility called The Cloisters. It is also a story of the love she left behind and the love she finds at The Cloisters, which may mean trouble for Rachel. Burns described the book in Europe as "a 700-page account of a bright young Irish woman who is one day living the high life in New York and finds herself locked-up in a Wicklow rehabilitation clinic the next."

Last Chance Saloon tells the story of three best friends from County Clare, Ireland. Later in life, living in London and still best friends, the three struggle in various ways with their love lives. A new man befriends them and their lives are changed.



Booklist, June 1, 1998, Mary Carroll, review of Watermelon, p. 1725; August, 1999, Alexandra Shrake, review of Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, p. 2026.

Books, spring, 1998, review of Rachel's Holiday, p. 21.

Europe, April, 1998, Mike Burns, "Marian Keyes," p. 45.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 1998, review of Watermelon, p. 680.

Library Journal, May 1, 1998, Jo Manning, review of Watermelon, p. 138; January, 1999, Shirley E. Havens, review of Watermelon, p. 204; June 15, 1999, Jan Blodgett, review of Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, p. 106.

New York Times Book Review, September 20, 1998, Paula Friedman, review of Watermelon, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, April 13, 1998, review of Watermelon, p. 48; June 21, 1999, review of Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, p. 53.