Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin in October 1969. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin and in 1990 earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin. After moving to England, she received a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge in 1997. She has worked as a writer ever since, relocating to London, Ontario where she lives with her partner, son and daughter.
She was shortlisted in the 2010 Man Booker Prize.