Mary Lavin was born in Massachusetts in 1912, but moved to Ireland as a child. Her first collection of short stories, Tales from Bective Bridge, published in 1942, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and launched her acclaimed career in this genre. Her stories appeared in the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly, among other magazines. Her novels, including The House in Clewe Street, were also widely celebrated. She won several awards, including the Guggenheim fellowship and the Katherine Mansfield Prize, and she was President of the Irish PEN and Aosdána, the Irish Academy of Letters. She died in 1996.