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        MEAGHAN DELAHUNT is a novelist and short story writer. Her work has been widely translated and her stories anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 1997 she won the Flamingo/HQ National Short Story Prize in Australia. Awards for her novels ‘In the Blue House’ (Bloomsbury, 2001), ‘The Red Book’ (Granta, 2008) and ‘To the Island’ (Granta, 2011) include a regional Commonwealth Prize, a Saltire Award and a nomination for the Orange Prize. Her latest book ‘Greta Garbo’s Feet & Other Stories’ (Word Power Women, 2015) was longlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize 2016. She has worked as a Creative Writing Tutor at the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow and in 2017-19 was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Dundee and Queen Margaret University. She is part of the Royal Literary Fund Bridge Project in schools. She is a qualified Hatha Yoga and Yin Yoga teacher and founding member of Yoga for Bhopal. Born in Melbourne, Meaghan Delahunt has lived in Edinburgh since 1992.
Meaghan Delahunt
To The Island The Red Book In The Blue House The Artist and Nationality Greta Garbo's Feet & Other Stories (forthcoming)
Greta Garbo's Feet
& Other Stories
(Order now)
To The Island
The Red Book
In The Blue House
The Artist and Nationality
Copyright © 2013 Anna Reid
To The Island

He disappeared. That's all she really knew. In search of her father Andreas, whom she has never met, Lena travels with her small son from Australia to Greece. On the island of Naxos she finds him, a wary, tormented man living in self-imposed exile and haunted by what happened to him under the rule of the Colonels in the 1960s. Slowly Lena unlocks the secrets of her father's past, and in getting to know him begins to understand the dark realities of contemporary Greek history. To the Island is a book about the impact of larger political events on the lives of ordinary people, and how political and personal betrayals reverberate across generations, beautifully evoking the currents and cross-currents between individuals, within families and in broader society. And in Lena and Andreas's stories, it shows how difficult it is to confront our personal and collective pasts - and the terrible consequences of being unable to do so.

'A wise and compassionate novel, beautifully written.' - The Times

'It is a tale of recovery, of people who go through very bad things and then get better, in a limited and circumscribed way. It has more in common with a novel by Jean Rhys or Ernest Hemingway than the usual story of recovery... The writing is spare, sinewy; the mood goes from dark to a little less dark.' - The Financial Times

'A powerful novel...there is a meditative, painterly quality to this novel, which reflect the way Delahunt, a practising Buddhist, writes and thinks'  - The Glasgow Herald

'This is a novel of quietly intense physicality...Meaghan Delahunt explores the labyrinths of the human heart in a long awaited third novel' - Scotland on Sunday

' One of the things that lifts Meaghan Delahunt's novels above the ordinary, besides her attentive and spiky prose, is her political interest...It may always be politics, or a political cause, that anchors Delahunt's tales, but her mapping of the political onto the personal shows that she never forgets the human faces behind the banners' - The Scotsman

' In this vivid, emotional novel...Delahunt explores how politics reverberate through families, culture and time. Her powerful descriptions bring to life a period in Greece's history when friends would betray you, torture was commonplace and information was a weapon.' - She

Letter from Greece | GRANTA

Longlisted: John D. Criticos Prize 2012, London Hellenic Society
Available on Amazon's
Meaghan Delahunt Page

Interviews & Reviews

The Red Book

Francoise, an Australian photographer, travels to Bhopal in India, where twenty years earlier a gas leak killed thousands. There she meets Naga, a Tibetan refugee whose family died in the disaster, and Arkay, a Scottish traveller battling addiction, who has found solace in Buddhism. As a Testament to their time together Francoise assembles photographs from their lives into an album, the "Red Book". The photographs tell their stories of love struggle and transformation - pointing to the people they have been and who they will become.

'This colourful account of life in India is a joy ... It's finely wrought and expansive fiction that lingers' - Herald

'There is much rich material here ... the story of Francoise's love for Arkay, the monk ... is written with intensity and powerful despair' - The Guardian

'[An] exploration of the human desire to shed past lives ... Vivid, wise, ambitious and beautiful' - The List

'Blessed with ambition and talent enough to realise it, The Red Book is a model of what a globalised imagination can do'
- Sunday Herald

Shortlisted: Saltire Book of the Year 2008, Scottish Fiction Book of the Year 2009, Claire Maclean Prize for Fiction, 2009
Available on Amazon's
Meaghan Delahunt Page

Interviews & Reviews
In The Blue House

'The blue rectangle which enclosed me for a time and made me feel safe. The blue embrace...For six weeks, at the age of fifty-nine, one last dance with youth. It stays with me, the memory of her, and the view from that room in her house.' Hounded from country to country by Stalin's agents, Leon Trotsky finally finds refuge in Mexico as the guest of the artist Diego Rivera and his beautiful wife Frida Kahlo. But the extraordinary years spent in Frida's beloved family home, The Blue House, prove also to be his last. The passions and betrayals of Trotsky's final years in Mexico are unravelled, revealing too a panorama of Russian history during the first half of the twentieth century. As personal and confiding as a whisper In The Blue House reverberates with the momentous words and voices of history. 'Moves gracefully through the private histories of love, despair and deception...brimming with energy and conviction' - Literary Review

'The central imagined relationship, between Trotsky and Kahlo is conveyed with power and intimacy...but In the Blue House is more than an imaginary love affair, it also records the relationship between a young Australian political acrivist and her Party figurehead, more than fifty years after his death' - The Scotsman

'Reading this novel is like peering into a kaleidoscope...the writing is vibrant and vivid...illuminated by flashes of brilliance' - Sunday Telegraph

'Brilliantly reconstructs the atmosphere of Trotsky's house, his circle of friends and, in particular, the place of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in his entourage...compelling' - Sunday Business Post

Winner: Saltire First Book Award 2001, Regional Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book 2002, A Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year 2002
Longlisted: The Orange Prize for Fiction 2002
Shortlisted: Christina Stead Prize 2002
Available on Amazon's
Meaghan Delahunt Page

Interviews & Reviews
The Artist and Nationality

‘The Artist and Nationality’ sees Saltire Award winner Meaghan Delahunt reflect on her own sense of nationality and what that may mean for the artist. The essay was commissioned by The Saltire Society with cover art by renowned Scottish artist Alasdair Gray. It is available in a limited edition of 500 copies. For further details contact: saltire@saltiresociety.org.uk

‘The launch of the new Saltire Series of pamphlets asserts our proper position as a platform for free and independent thinking on the issues that matter most to Scotland today. Meaghan Delahunt’s powerful, moving and thoughtful essay embraces the personal and political and helps us better understand the complexity of national identity for the artist.’ - Jim Tough, Executive Director, The Saltire Society.

Greta Garbo's Feet & Other Stories

'...Delahunt's writing has a fine sense of irony, the mood is often dark and the subject matter disturbing, but her short stories reveal her capacity for comic writing, sharp dialogue and stinging, almost buried emotionality.' -  From A Distant Shore: Australian Writers In Britain 1820-2012

A selection of Meaghan Delahunt's published and broadcast short stories brought together for the first time in one volume. Meaghan’s short story collection; ‘Greta Garbo’s Feet & Other Stories’( Word Power Women)  has just been longlisted for the 2016 Edgehill Short Story Prize.

Herald Scotland

To order:

The title story Greta Garbo's Feet won the 1997 Flamingo/HQ National Australian Short Story Prize. Longlisted for the 2016 Edgehill Short Story Prize.
Recent Essays & Articles

Bella Caledonia

Ten Days That Shook the Walk | Bella Caledonia

Remembering Bhopal 30 Years On | Bella Caledonia

'It's Time': The Independence of Gough Whitlam | Bella Caledonia

Recent interviews & reviews

A review of To the Island on ABC, Radio National Australia, 2011:

Writers' Rooms, ABC, Radio National, 2010:

Scottish Review of Books, Our Second Podcast, 2012

Herald Scotland

Spark for Writers

Meaghan's work at the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow


Meaghan is a qualified Hatha and Yin yoga teacher. She is available for small group teaching and one-to-one sessions. She is particularly interested in combining yoga and writing in her workshops and retreats. For more information please contact:

Meaghan's work at the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow: http://www.artsandhealth.ie/perspectives/end-notes/

She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.



Arvon Foundation Writing Retreat with Meaghan Delahunt & Kirsty Gunn
March 11-16
The Hurst

contact: www.arvon.org for more information.

What I Might Have Been If I Hadn't Become A Writer

All the people who stalk my dreams and inhabit me at odd moments are the people I might have been. They pass on a lifetime of workplace arcana: how to adjust a hubcap, how to arrange vitamins near a till, how to stage a strike in the car industry. They pass on techniques for cleaning office rubber plants, or teaching the English language or how to sell make-up. These past lives come crowding sometimes, there's no stopping them, and the unpredictability of this writing life means that at any moment I may be called upon once again to step back into a former incarnation as a car detailer or shop assistant or plant cleaner or language tutor or surly consultant on the Estee Lauder counter. And that's just for starters. A heartbeat is all that lies between myself and the many non-writing lives I've led.

When I was ten years old, I knew I was a writer and that I wanted to become one. I used to practise my signature over and over and invent other names and signatures for that far-off time when I would be a grown-up and people would read my work. Of course this precocity was hidden - all private obsessive markings in torn exercise books. More publicly I fancied being a spy, the Flying Nun, or a ballerina. Sometimes simultaneously. I used to jump off terraces and small hills, singing, convinced I could fly. My knees still carry the scars. As for the dancing, the ballet teacher took me aside at an early age and said I had nice hands and nice hair for a ballerina. She avoided the whole question of my feet. Writing and professional spying, though, have a great deal in common. Both spies and writers get paid to observe and report back. Writers have the advantage, of course, in that they can always make everything up.

I never had any notion of a career but I did grow up with a strong Catholic sense of vocation which has stayed with me. As a result, I'm not exactly sure that you ever become a writer. There's nothing finite here - it's a lifelong apprenticeship. It's more a process of becoming. You are always your own work in progress. Even after many years and many stories, you are always a beginner, fronting up to the page. I'm not sure you have much choice in the matter either. It's chosen for you.

I often fancy being an archaeologist, a photographer, a tightrope walker, a forensic linguist. It changes from week to week. The wonderful thing about being a writer is that all the professions you might have had, all the people you might have been are still out there, and still inside, just waiting for you to make contact, waiting for you to summon their signatures to the page, and to practise them, over and over.

From: Lost Careers in BRICK MAGAZINE No71, Summer 2003 Canada

Copyright © 2013 Meaghan Delahunt




More info:

Contact: sparkforwriters@outlook.com

For general Yoga enquiries: edinyogini124@gmail

Meaghan has helped to set up Yoga For Bhopal.
For more information contact The Bhopal Medical Appeal: www.bhopal.org

For the Yoga For Bhopal Facebook page:

Yoga For Bhopal
Granta Books London
12 Addison Ave 
Holland Park 
London W114QR
Tel: 020 7605 1384

For events and readings
please contact Granta publicist:  
Pru Rowlandson

Literary agent:
Ms Jenny Brown
Jenny Brown Associates
31 Marchmont Road
Scotland EH9 1HU
Tel: +44 (0) 131 2295334