Prunty, Morag 1964-

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Prunty, Morag 1964-

PERSONAL:

Born April 14, 1964, in Scotland; married; children: one son.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Ireland.

CAREER:

Editor for magazines Looks, More, and Just Seventeen, London, England, and Irish Tatler, Dublin, Ireland.

WRITINGS:

Boys: A User's Guide, illustrated by Alison Everitt, Piccadilly (London, England), 1993.

NOVELS

Dancing with Mules, Pan (London, England), 2001, published as Wild Cats and Colleens, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Disco Daddy, Pan (London, England), 2002.

Poison Arrows, Pan (London, England), 2003.

Superstar Lovers, Tivoli (Dublin, Ireland), 2004.

Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Morag Prunty, born in Scotland of Irish parents, has been a magazine editor since the age of nineteen. After working in England at Looks (where she was the magazine's youngest editor), More, and Just Seventeen, she relocated to Ireland, where she worked as editor of Irish Tatler.

Her first book, Boys: A User's Guide, is aimed at helping teenage girls understand the opposite sex. Prunty writes about the fears that go along with the first date and first kiss and about crushes, rejection, and other emotional issues. School Librarian reviewer Alison Hurst observed that all of these "are dealt with in a lighthearted but helpful way" and praised the accompanying cartoons by Alison Everitt, which Hurst felt help when addressing "such a sensitive subject."

Prunty's debut novel, Dancing with Mules, was published in the United States as Wild Cats and Colleens. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that one function of the book is "to blow away those blarney cobwebs from the Irish image and to show that the country is as up-to-date, materialistic and obsessed with glamour and trivia as much of the rest of the Western world." Prunty offers three heroines: Lorna, a publicist who plays too hard; Gloria, whose life began in the slums but who now does Lorna's hair in her very successful salon; and Sandy, a journalist yet to get her first big story. New York Times Book Review contributor Fionn Meade felt that the Dublin-based characters "seem to be culled" from the HBO award-winning comedy Sex and the City, set in New York. Meade wrote that the book "is more like a polished sitcom than a searching work of fiction."

Xavier Power is an American billionaire, proud of his Irish heritage, who is looking for an Irish wife. What he has in mind is a sweet, preferably redheaded colleen, not the three wild women he meets when he travels to Ireland on his quest. He hires Lorna to plan the party at which he will meet prospects, and Lorna enlists Gloria's help. Sandy is hoping that her coverage of the event will result in her big story. Booklist reviewer Danise Hoover wrote: "The madcap situations that follow result in storybook-happy matchmakings for all concerned." "None of them marries the billionaire," noted Monica Collins in the Boston Herald. "Yet all three women find their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow." A Kirkus Reviews writer called Wild Cats and Colleens "an exuberantly absurd and intermittently amusing farce about three women looking for love and money in pop-culture-saturated contemporary Ireland."

Recipes for a Perfect Marriage contains the parallel stories of a contemporary woman and her Irish grandmother. Tressa Nolan, a New York food writer, is approaching forty and afraid that she will never marry. When her building superintendent, blue collar Dan Mullins, asks her to marry him, she accepts. She soon discovers, however, that they have nothing in common, and she wishes she could talk about her problems with her grandmother, Bernadine, who taught her to cook, and who seemed to have the perfect marriage to her grandfather, James. Flashing back to the 1930s and 1940s, Bernadine's arranged marriage to James has been stable, but she has never forgotten her first and passionate love. "This is a clever and heartfelt take on the challenges of creating a ‘happily ever after’" concluded Karen Core in Library Journal. The story includes Bernadine's recipes for such Irish delectables as clove-studded ham, rhubarb tart, and honey cake.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 2001, Danise Hoover, review of Wild Cats and Colleens, p. 383; April 15, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, p. 30.

Boston Herald, December 2, 2001, Monica Collins, review of Wild Cats and Colleens, p. 50.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2001, review of Wild Cats and Colleens, p. 1240.

Library Journal, May 15, 2006, Karen Core, review of Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, p. 91.

New York Times Book Review, December 23, 2001, Fionn Meade, review of Wild Cats and Colleens, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2001, review of Wild Cats and Colleens, p. 56; February 13, 2006, review of Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, p. 61.

School Librarian, August, 1993, Alison Hurst, review of Boys: A User's Guide, p. 127.

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Prunty, Morag 1964-

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