Gráinne Murphy

Gráinne Murphy by Egle Laukyte

Gráinne is a Cork-based novelist and occasional short story writer. Her debut novel, Where the Edge Is, was published by Legend Press in 2020, followed by The Ghostlights in 2021, and Winter People in 2022. Her fourth novel, Greener, will be published in April 2024, also by Legend Press.

Gráinne’s short story, ‘Further West’, was longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in 2021, while other stories have been published in Cork Words, The Holly Bough, the Fish Anthology, and Nivalis Anthology, among others. ‘Time Immemorial’, her essay on grief and the quiet power of country graveyards, was published by The Milk House in April 2021 and later nominated for that year’s Pushcart Prize. Her story ‘What Can You Say’ was longlisted for the V.S. Pritchett Award 2024.

Gráinne has a BA and MPhil in Applied Psychology from University College Cork, and an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She works as a freelance proofreader and language editor on research reports for EU consultancies, often on human rights and environmental issues.

Author photo by Egle Laukyte



Gráinne Murphy

GREENER by Grainne Murphy cover

They say you can never make new old friends. 

As teenagers, Helen, Annie and Laura were inseparable, bonding over family, boys, and their dreams for the future. But when school ended, so did their friendship.

Twenty-five years later, a snowstorm forces the three women to spend time together, leaving them wondering if they can reconcile the gap between who they are and who they used to be.

Greener is an exploration of the changing dynamics of adult friendships and asks whether old friends can ever let us become new people.

Murphy is an accomplished writer with the gift of transferring everyday life onto the page. assuredly.’

— Anne Griffin

‘Insightful, believable and raw’

— Joanna Glen

‘Brims with warmth and humour’

— Danielle McLaughlin

‘Set in the latter days of the pandemic, Greener is a quiet yet powerful novel which examines the nature of friendship and the compromises that people make in their lives. This is a beautifully-written and emotionally engaging work.’

— Madeleine D'Arcy

Winter People

Gráinne Murphy

Winter People follows three very different characters whose lives cross by the sea on the rural West Coast of Ireland, each isolated and grappling with change. It’s inspired by Gráinne’s Sunday Times Audible Award longlisted short story Further West, from which the penultimate chapter is adapted.

When you’re on the verge of losing everything, what is there left to live for?

Sis Cotter has lived her whole life in a small house by her beloved beach. Here, she grew up, reared her family, and buried her husband. Now her children are far away and, in three days, her house will be taken from her.

Next door, thirty-nine-year-old Lydia has withdrawn from her husband, her friends, her life. She watches the sea as her own private penance for a wrong she can never put right. Afraid of the world and herself in it, the only way to live is to avoid everyone.

Meanwhile, repossession officer Peter’s best friend is dying, and his long-time foster mother is slowly forgetting who he is. Adrift without his two anchors, and struggling with the ethics of displacing people for a living, Peter looks for something to hold onto to remind him of who he is and who he wants to be.

In their isolation, Sis, Lydia and Peter question who they are without the people they love, and search for the words that will bring their people back to them.

‘There is a gentleness and depth here that is engrossing’

— Anne Griffin

‘Immersive and absorbing’

— Joanna Glen, author of Costa shortlist novel The Other Half of Augusta Hope

‘Subtle, addictive, beautifully written’

— Lissa Evans

‘Stunning and profoundly moving’

— Billy O’Callaghan, author of Costa Short Story Award finalist The Boatman

‘Compassionate, contemplative, and absorbing’

— Claire Fuller

‘A tender exploration of loss, loneliness and human fragility… I loved it’

— Madeleine D’Arcy

Where the Edge Is

Gráinne Murphy

As a sleepy town in rural Ireland starts to wake, a road subsides, trapping an early-morning bus and five passengers inside. Rescue teams struggle and as two are eventually saved, the bus falls deeper into the hole.

Under the watchful eyes of the media, the lives of three people are teetering on the edge. And for those on the outside, from Nina, the reporter covering the story, to rescue liaison, Tim, and Richie, the driver pulled from the wreckage, each are made to look at themselves under the glare of the spotlight.

When their world crumbles beneath their feet, they are forced to choose between what they cling to and what they must let go of.

The Ghostlights

Gráinne Murphy

Can we ever truly escape our past?

The Ghostlights is the poignant story of a family of Irish women who are each looking for the real meaning of home. This is a novel about family, obligation, identity and small-town life, written with deftness and sensitivity by the author of Where the Edge Is.

When a stranger checks into a family B&B – in a small village in rural Ireland – no one takes too much notice… at least until his body is found in the lake four days later.

The identity of the unknown guest raises questions for polar opposite twin sisters Liv and Marianne and their mother Ethel, all of whom feel trapped by the choices they made earlier in life. They each find themselves forced to confront their past, their present and what they really want from their future.

‘Gráinne Murphy laces a tale of life’s disappointments with a delightfully wry humour, and conjures the inhabitants of Coolaroone…with incisive strokes, deft turns of phrase and great warmth.’

— The Times

‘A haunting drama that reboots the rural Ireland we know and love. Gloriously rich… An exquisite addition to the canon of fine Irish literature about life and death in the aul’ sod.’

— Sunday Independent