EMMA DONOGHUE

Elle (Canada) - - Anniversary -

Be­fore she wrote the Os­carnom­i­nated screen­play Room (based on her own Man Booker Prize short­listed novel), Ir­ish-born Donoghue wasn’t ex­actly suf­fer­ing for lack of crit­i­cal recog­ni­tion: The 46-year-old has been ac­claimed for her bril­liantly writ­ten tales on sub­jects as di­verse as a scan­dalous Vic­to­rian di­vorce, an 18th-cen­tury work­place mur­der and a cross-dress­ing rep­tile catcher. WHAT’S YOUR NUM­BER ONE PIECE OF AD­VICE FOR 15-YEAR-OLDS TO­DAY? “Find mean­ing­ful work and pour all of your en­ergy into get­ting re­ally good at it.” WHAT WERE THE MOST DEFIN­ING 15 MIN­UTES OF YOUR LIFE? “Af­ter our first child was born, I had a med­i­cal is­sue that a sur­geon was able to deal with quickly, but it made me re­al­ize that there’s a lot to be said for liv­ing in Canada in the 21st cen­tury. In past times or a poorer coun­try, I would prob­a­bly have been yet an­other dead mother.” WHAT EX­CITES YOU WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD IN 15 YEARS’ TIME? “The books, the films, the things the kids will have to say!” WHAT WOR­RIES YOU WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD IN 15 YEARS’ TIME? “That the kids will say ‘How could you have let the world go to hell in a hand­bas­ket?’ and we won’t know what to tell them.” WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS? “My son and daugh­ter have taught me that I’m far more flawed (and, in par­tic­u­lar, cranky) than I knew.” WHAT WOULD YOUR 15-YEAR-OLD SELF THINK OF YOU TO­DAY? “She’d be star­tled that I man­aged to come out of the closet and end up in a happy long-term re­la­tion­ship with kids AND an Os­car nom­i­na­tion. But she’d be hor­ri­fied by my dou­ble chin.”

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