Monday, March 7, 2011

Gemma Whelan to Read from Debut Novel

Gemma Whelan, an Irish-born theatre director and educator now living in Portland, has recently published her debut novel, Fiona: Stolen Child. In the novel, Fiona Clarke, an Irish writer living in New York, has been running from her past since she left rural Cregora, Ireland, for boarding school. That past finds her, many years later, when her thinly veiled autobiographical novel is optioned for a movie. Working as the film’s consultant, Fiona unearths deep secrets, relives childhood trauma, and connects with an estranged family thrust back into her life. As her history opens upon her, Fiona must stop running and confront her secret shame: her long-held sense of responsibility over the death of her little sister.

After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Whelan directed more than sixty stage productions and was founding artistic director of GemArt and Wilde Irish Productions. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and film director.  In an interview, Whelan noted that screen writing is more controlled, that in writing her novel she had to learn to let go and trust the process, letting her characters become who they are. She graduated from Trinity College (Dublin) in English and French and has graduate degrees from UC-Berkeley in Theatre and from San Francisco State University in Cinema. She moved to Portland in 2008.

Whelan has taught at numerous colleges and conservatories, including UC Berkeley, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, and Mills College -- all in the Bay Area -- and at Pacific University, Portland Actors Conservatory, and PSU in Oregon. She has also taught theatre and film in Singapore and lead theatre tours to Ireland and England.

Gemma Whelan will read from her debut novel Tuesday, March 8th, at 7 pm at Broadway Books. We hope you can join us! The event is free and open to the public.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.