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Molly McCloskey (born 1964 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American writer who has lived in Ireland since 1989.[1] Her fiction has won the RTÉ Francis MacManus Award (1995) and the inaugural Fish Short Story Prize (1996).[2] Her story "Another Country" was anthologized in The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories (2005), edited by David Marcus. In 2009, another of her short stories, "This Isn’t Heaven" was selected by Richard Ford as one of the prize-winning stories in the 2009 Davy Byrne’s Irish Writing Award and was anthologized in Davy Byrne’s Stories. Her first work of non-fiction, a memoir of her schizophrenic brother Mike, called Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother, was named by The Sunday Times (UK) as its Memoir of the Year for 2011.

Molly McCloskey
Molly McCloskey at the 2018 Gaithersburg Book Festival
Molly McCloskey at the 2018 Gaithersburg Book Festival
BornMolly McCloskey
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materUniversity College
Notable worksAnother Country, This Isn't Heaven, Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother
Notable awardsFrancis MacManus Award, Fish Short Story Prize
RelativesJack McCloskey


McCloskey, a daughter of well-known basketball coach, Jack McCloskey, spent her early childhood in North Carolina, United States, where her father coached the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.[3] Later, after her father was made head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1972, the family moved to Oregon. McCloskey was educated in St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, which she attended on a sports scholarship.[4]

In 1989, she moved to Ireland where she married and settled in Sligo. While living in Sligo, she played basketball with the Sligo All-Stars team[citation needed]. In 1998, after a brief return to Philadelphia, she moved to Dublin and completed a Master of Philosophy Degree at University College. She still lives in Dublin.

She is a regular reviewer for the Irish Times and has written various pieces for a number of publications, including The Guardian, Elle and The Dublin Review. In 2009/2010 she was the Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, where she taught on the M. Phil course in creative writing.[5]

She is a member of the Rapid Response Corps of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, a panel of personnel available for deployment around the world by United Nations agencies in times of emergency. She has worked in the UN’s Kenya-based office co-ordinating international aid to Somalia. She has also lived in Kosovo.


In 1992, she published her first story in Dermot Healy’s literary journal, Force 10. She published her first book of short stories, Solomon’s Seal, in 1997. Protection, her debut novel, set in contemporary Ireland, appeared in 2006.

Her memoir, Circles Around the Sun, was published in 2011 to favourable reviews, including one by Man Booker Prize-winning novelist, Anne Enright, who wrote in The Guardian:

"Every once in a while, a writer's voice hits such a clear note, the resulting book has the kind of sweetness that makes you hold it in your hands a moment before finding a place for it on your shelves. Circles Around the Sun is this kind of book: it's a keeper. A memoir of a schizophrenic brother, written with great care and simplicity, it is one of those stories that waited until its writer was ready to tell it." [6]


  • Solomon’s Seal, Phoenix House, 1997, ISBN 9781861590220
  • The Beautiful Changes, Lilliput, 2002, ISBN 9781901866810
  • Protection, Penguin Books Limited, 2006, ISBN 9780141941738
  • Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. Overlook. 27 September 2012. ISBN 978-1-4683-0391-9.