Our Global Irish conversation with award-winning author Jane Delury centers on her second novel Hedge, a bildungsroman of an Irish American woman in her forties named Maude pursuing a career in the esoteric field of garden history, looking for clues in the past under the mounting challenges of the present.
The theme of bringing a garden back to life threads through this novel of marital strains, infidelity, family secrets, personal discovery, endurance, and perseverance. Along the way, Jane leaves hints of her Irish roots, with mentions of porter cake, St. Patrick’s Day, the Clancy Brothers, and Maude’s family home in a neighborhood known as “Little Ireland.”
Jane tells Irish Stew of her family roots in Cork, Mayo, and Sligo, her trips to Ireland, and her pride in her Irish citizenship.
We discuss the symbolism of the garden, her literary influences, her love of short stories (she has one coming out soon in the Georgia Review), her first novel The Balcony and her experience publishing with the innovative Zibby Books.
And she drops a few intriguing hints about what’s coming next, mentioning a “thing” she’s working on that she realizes is evolving into a novel and how she’s writing something new about her Irish Catholic upbringing.
Her Seamus Plug is a call to support the exceptional work of Strength to Love II, a community-based program on a 1.5-acre Baltimore farm offering workforce development and employment to community residents and citizens returning from incarceration.
So, join our compelling conversation with novelist Jane Delury, read Hedge, and stay tuned for what Jane has coming next!
Jane Delury is the author of Hedge, a critically acclaimed novel published by Zibby books. Jane also authored The Balcony, a novel-in-stories, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her short stories have appeared in Granta, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and other publications. Her awards include a PEN/O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Special Mention, and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her essays have been published by The LA Times, Real Simple, and LitHub among others. She holds a BA in English and French literature from UC Santa Cruz, a maîtrise from the University of Grenoble, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. A professor at the University of Baltimore, she teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts and directs the BA in English. She lives in Baltimore with her daughters and her partner, the writer Don Lee.