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Fri Oct 12, 2018, 08:52 AM

Author works as a janitor. She just won a prestigious literary prize from the university she cleans

Trinity College Dublin presented Caitriona Lally last week with the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, one of Ireland’s most prestigious literary honors. The prize committee praised her book, “Eggshells,” as “a work of impressive imaginative reach, witty, subtle and occasionally endearingly unpredictable.”

For the past 3˝ years, Lally has worked as a janitor at the college.

The day the call came from the prize committee, Lally was so shocked and the experience felt so out of context, she asked the person who told her she had won the award to please explain it again.


More by Allison Klein of the Washington Post at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2018/10/03/this-book-author-also-works-janitor-she-just-won-prestigious-literary-prize-university-she-cleans/?utm_term=.b95d1ce013af&wpisrc=nl_optimist&wpmm=1

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Reply Author works as a janitor. She just won a prestigious literary prize from the university she cleans (Original post)
FSogol Oct 12 OP
ZeroSomeBrains Oct 12 #1
AllaN01Bear Oct 12 #2
B Stieg Oct 12 #3
redwitch Oct 12 #4
Le Gaucher Oct 12 #5
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 12 #6
FSogol Oct 12 #7
Hortensis Oct 12 #10
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 12 #12
Hortensis Oct 12 #13
nolabear Oct 12 #8
FSogol Oct 12 #9
Hortensis Oct 12 #11
smirkymonkey Oct 12 #14

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 09:58 AM

1. K&R

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 10:00 AM

2. eggscllent

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 11:06 AM

3. Rita lives!

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Response to B Stieg (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 11:47 AM

4. I loved that movie!

I had forgotten about it so thanks for reminding me!

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 11:50 AM

5. Goodwill Hunting of the Literary world I guess.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 11:50 AM

6. So many people have gifts they can't nurture because of circumstances.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:04 PM

7. Very true. n/t

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:19 PM

10. Not this one. She IS nurturing her gifts as a writer

as well as a husband and daughter. There's no accident to this achievement, it's based on discipline and work, and it should give a nice lift to her career trajectory.

She and her husband, who is employed by the government, live in Dublin and had their daughter last year. Lally said her janitor job works for her schedule as a mother and is a great fit for writing. She’s finishing up her second novel, and she’s not planning on giving up her morning work.

“It works well with my writing life. I've had paid copywriting jobs before, but it was hard to motivate myself to sit down at the computer and write my novel once my paid work was done,” she said.

Her advice for anyone who wants to write a book is to have a paid job that is not stressful.

“It’s very hard to write if you’re emotionally drained after work, or have a job that you dread,” she said. “I know that cleaning is some people’s vision of hell, but it works for me. The bills must be paid and until that six-figure sum comes a-knocking, everyone needs a day job.”

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:32 PM

12. Unfortuately, the "paid job that is not stressful" is the barrier for many.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:45 PM

13. Yes, hers is supplementary income, giving her choices

others don't have. But just the same, a whole lot of people can make do on much less income than they think is necessary, and those so fortunate as to be able to downgrade to renting a room in a tacky apartment close to a bus line so they can take a tediously undemanding job do have that choice.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:10 PM

8. Buy. Her. Book!!

I ordered it as soon as I heard. Haven't gotten it yet but it looks great and I want that woman to have my money. Take it from me, the vast majority of writers, even celebrated ones, don't pay the bills with their work. Pay the writer!

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Response to nolabear (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:11 PM

9. Good advice. n/t

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Response to nolabear (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:27 PM

11. :) I'll have wait to get it used, being in my fixed-income years while

hers is on the way up. We're reading this in the NYT, after all. I'm sure she'd appreciate the suggestion, not just for its kindness but for her book.

I was amused that an Irish woman mentioned Las Vegas as a fantasy destination (really?), but if she still wants it it's very likely she'll get there someday. Hope she loves the desert -- I'd travel around the world from Ireland to see that.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 12:47 PM

14. Wow, what an accomplishment!

I am so happy for her! This has given her the shot in the arm she needed to keep working on her second novel. I wish her all the best!

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