Alice Taylor lives in the village of Innishannon in County Cork, in a house attached to the local supermarket and post office. Since her eldest son has taken over responsibility for the shop, she has been able to devote more time to her writing.
Alice Taylor worked as a telephonist in Killarney and Bandon. When she married, she moved to Innishannon where she ran a guesthouse at first, then the supermarket and post office. She and her husband, Gabriel Murphy, who sadly passed away in 2005, had four sons and one daughter. In 1984 she edited and published the first issue of Candlelight, a local magazine which has since appeared annually. In 1986 she published an illustrated collection of her own verse.
To School Through the Fields was published in May 1988. It was an immediate success, and quickly became the biggest selling book ever published in Ireland. It launched Alice on a series of signing sessions, talks and readings the length and breadth of Ireland. Her first radio interview, forty two minutes long on RTÉ Radio's Gay Byrne Show, was the most talked about radio programme of 1988, and her first television interview, of the same length, was the highlight of the year on RTÉ television's Late Late Show. Since then she has appeared on radio programmes such as Woman's Hour, Midweek and The Gloria Hunniford Show, and she has been the subject of major profiles in the Observer and the Mail on Sunday.
Alice has written nearly twenty books since then, large exploring her village of Inishannon, and the way of life in rural Ireland. She has also written poetry and fiction: her first novel, The Woman of the House, was an immediate bestseller in Ireland, topping the paperback fiction lists for many weeks.
One of Ireland's most popular authors, her most recent book is And Life Lights Up.
Alice’s garden is her refuge. Inherited from Uncle Jacky, she introduces the great variety of plants and objects she has gathered – everything, of course, with its own unique and fascinating story, brought to life by a master storyteller.
Alice Taylor takes us through her home, reflecting back on the routine of her family life growing up in rural Ireland in the 1950s - a time when food was home-baked and everything was reused. An uplifting account, full of nostalgia and wise words to treasure from Ireland's best-loved author.
Alice Taylor's poems have proved perennially popular. Some have been woven into her phenomenally successful memoirs, and she has published three previous books of poetry. Organized thematically, this substantial collection includes sections entitled "The Home Place", "A Village Romance", "Grief and Grace", and "Winter Ploughing."
Alice Taylor guides us through the steps and ways to live a conscious life and focus on the goodness of the world around us. Alice also inspires the reader to be attentive to the here and now and embrace moments as they arise.
Alice began the year wondering how she would feel about reaching eighty. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was just another milestone on a journey that is still varied and interesting. Here she writes about these feelings, and the many pleasant and challenging events of her eightieth year.
From improving her painting to perfecting her garden, exploring family histories and reclaiming her mother’s art of tea-making, Alice celebrates the small acts that fill her days and make her happy.
The Irish nana is a repository of family history, memory and lore. Alice celebrates her own nanas, part of the generation born after the Great Famine. She herself is now a nana too, and explores the old and the new, the ‘then’ and ‘now’, the nana of yesteryear and of today, with her characteristic empathy and love.