Niall Williams studied English and French Literature at University College Dublin and graduated with a MA in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen. His first job in New York was opening boxes of books in Fox and Sutherland’s Bookshop in Mount Kisco. He later worked as a copywriter for Avon Books in New York City before leaving America with Chris in 1985 to attempt to make a life as a writer in Ireland. They moved on April 1st to the cottage in west Clare that Chris’s grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America.
His first four books were co-written with Chris and tell of their life together in Co Clare.
In 1991 Niall’s first play THE MURPHY INITIATIVE was staged at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His second play, A LITTLE LIKE PARADISE was produced on the Peacock stage of The Abbey Theatre in 1995. His third play, THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT, was produced by Galway’s Druid Theatre Company in 1999.
Niall’s first novel was FOUR LETTERS OF LOVE. Published in 1997, it went on to become an international bestseller and has been published in over twenty countries. His second novel, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN was published in 1999 and short-listed for the Irish Times Literature Prize. Further novels include THE FALL OF LIGHT, ONLY SAY THE WORD, BOY IN THE WORLD and its sequel, BOY AND MAN.
In 2008 Bloomsbury published Niall’s fictional account of the last year in the life of the apostle, JOHN.
His new novel, HISTORY OF THE RAIN, will be published by Bloomsbury in the UK/Ireland and in the USA Spring 2014. (Spanish and Turkish rights have also been sold.)
Niall has recently written several screenplays. Two have been optioned by film companies.
Books in order of publication
O Come Ye Back to Ireland: Our First Year in County Clare – 1987
When Summer’s in the Meadow – 1989
The Pipes are Calling: Our Jaunts Through Ireland – 1990
The Luck of the Irish: Our Life in County Clare – 1995
As It Is in Heaven – 1999
The Way You Look Tonight – 2000
The Fall of Light – 2001
Only Say the Word – 2005
Four Letters of Love – 2006
Boy in the World – 2007
John – 2008
Boy and Man – 2008
History of the Rain – 2014
This Is Happiness – 2019
In Kiltumper: A Year in an Irish Garden – 2021