Marian Keyes

Kirsty Young interviews writer Marian Keyes.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Marian Keyes.

Her twelve novels to date have sold 35 million copies and are published in 33 languages. Some of her novels have been adapted for the screen. She has also published three volumes of journalism.

Marian was born the eldest of five children in Ireland in 1963. While she was academically successful at school, she says she wasn't taught to think for herself, which left her ill prepared for university where she studied law.

After completing her degree, but failing to get apprenticed to a law firm in Dublin, she moved to London. She spent her twenties working as a waitress, and began drinking heavily. She went into rehab for her alcoholism when she was 30.

Her fortunes changed once she was sober: she sent some short stories she had written the previous year off to a publisher and had her debut novel published in 1995.

Marian has described each of her books as "a comedy about something serious" and says they are a reflection of who she is:
"I'm very bleak, really melancholic. But I've always used humour as a survival mechanism. I write for me and I need to feel hopeful about the human condition. So no way I'm going to write a downbeat ending. And it isn't entirely ludicrous to suggest that sometimes things might work out for the best."

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 17 Mar 2017 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Solange

    Cranes in the Sky

    • A Seat at the Table.
    • Saint/Columbia.
  • Petula Clark

    Downtown

    • Downtown.
    • Sanctuary Records Group.
  • The Police

    Message in a Bottle

    • Regatta De Blanc.
    • Polydor.
  • Christy Moore

    Ordinary Man

    • The Christy Moore Collection ’81-‘91.
    • Sony.
  • Sister Sledge

    We Are Family

    • We Are Family.
    • Warner Music.
  • Amy Winehouse

    Tears Dry On Their Own

    • Back to Black.
    • Universal-Island Records.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

  • Earth, Wind & Fire

    September

    • The Best Of Earth, Wind And Fire Volume 1.
    • Sony.
  • BOOK CHOICE

    A book of cryptic crosswords

  • LUXURY ITEM

    A photograph of her husband

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Marian Keyes
Producer Sarah Taylor

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast