Irish writer Edna O'Brien speaks to John Quinn about her childhood in the radio documentary 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl'

In this excerpt from the programme Edna speaks about her early fascination with words, and her attempts at writing at the age of nine. 

From a young age Edna knew that she was destined to be a writer.

I knew that my reality and my life and my fate would be lived out through writing... I think one is born a writer.

She also talks about attending a boarding school in Loughrey, and how elements of her time there are represented in her debut novel 'The Country Girls' (1960).

Edna O'Brien was born  in Tuamgraney, Co. Clare on 15 December 1930.

'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl' was a series in which women writers and artists evoke the childhood influences and environment which shaped their adult lives. Some of those featured in the series included Eavan Boland, Molly Keane, Polly Devlin, Mary Lavin, Pauline Bewick, Julia O'Faolain, Maeve Binchy, Medbh McGuckian, Joan Lingard, Dervla Murphy, Maria Simonds, and Jennifer Johnston. The series was produced and presented by John Quinn.

Episode 10 in the series featuring Edna O'Brien was broadcast on 2 September 1985.