When Deirdre Purcell turned sixty, she cheered. Never again would she have to fit into a size ten dress, and while her dream of crossing the US on a Harley remained, if it was never realised, well, she'd live.
In Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes, for the first time, this much-loved story-teller takes stock of her years to date and reveals very personal memories and reflections. From her earliest days as a small child with a large imagination, trotting perilously close to the edge of the River Tolka near her home, her head buried in her library book, she weaves an engrossing tapestry of a resilient personal and professional life punctuated by astonishing and sudden changes.
Recounted with characteristic frankness, humour and insight, Deirdre chronicles the years as an Abbey actress, the triumphs and failures as an acclaimed journalist who elicited memorable interviews from a host of famous personalities, the break-up of a marriage in an era when tolerance of single mothers was not as it is now - and her transition into the peculiar life of the novelist via the ghost-writing of Gay Byrne's autobiography.
Illustrated with a treasure trove of photographs, Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes is the story behind the story-teller from a keen observer who has recorded a dramatically changing Ireland over the past sixty years.
Deirdre Purcell was born and brought up in Dublin, and educated there and in a County Mayo convent. Before turning to the writing of fiction, she lived through an eclectic set of careers, including acting, as a member of the permanent company of Ireland's National Theatre (The Abbey), and journalism for all media - for which she won Ireland's top awards.