Room is the international bestseller that won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It was also a nominee for the National Book Award and an Oscar contender. It was later adapted as a film by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, which won multiple accolades and was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA.
The book is about five-year-old Jack, who lives with his mother in a tiny 11×11 foot space called Room, an outbuilding that contains their kitchen, bedroom, TV set and wardrobe. They spend most of their time inside the room, and only visit the outside world when Old Nick, Ma’s captor and rapist for the past seven years, comes to pick up some food and necessities.
Initially, life in the room is hard on both Ma and her son. But over the course of time, the two are able to expand their horizons and start a normal life. But, of course, the horrors are always lurking in the background.
This is a touching novel that highlights the importance of love and family, and the ways in which these relationships are often strained and complicated. It’s also an important story about motherhood, and how it can be difficult for a child to accept their parent’s love and affection without a clear idea of what is expected of them.
Emma Donoghue is an Irish-Canadian playwright, author and literary historian who specializes in blending historical events and personages with contemporary themes. Her works range from the contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood) to the historical (Haven, Slammerkin), and she is also a skilled writer of children’s fiction.
In 1998, Donoghue relocated from Cambridge, UK, to Canada to live with her partner and writing collaborator Christine Roulston, a professor of Women’s Studies, Feminist Research and French at the University of Western Ontario. She maintains dual citizenship in Ireland and Canada, and she has created close and productive ties with the Canadian literary community.
A prolific and award-winning writer, Donoghue has written numerous plays, novels and short stories. Her work focuses on lesbian love and sexuality, and is often inspired by real cases or personages from history, whether from legal records or the gay press. She has also published several nonfiction works, including Passions Between Women: A Study of Lesbian and Bisexual People from History (2002), We Are Michael Field: the True Lives of Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, an engrossing biographical novel about the Victorian lesbian writers who wrote under a single pseudonym, and The Pull of the Stars: A Nurse’s Tale (2007).
Donoghue’s books have sold over four million copies worldwide. She has also been awarded the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award, a Libris Award, the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award, the W.H. Smith Paperback of the Year, and an Audie Award for a multi-voice audiobook of Room, and has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize.
In addition to writing, Donoghue has been active as a screenwriter for feature films, shorts and television. She has also contributed to numerous magazines and online websites, and has collaborated with the BBC and the CBC. Her work has been produced in the United States, Ireland, England and France. She has taught at universities in the United States and in Scotland, and she has a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. She and her partner currently live in London, Ontario, with their two children.