Maeve Binchy talks to Gay Byrne about writing her debut novel 'Light A Penny Candle'.

Irish Times journalist Maeve Binchy's debut novel is currently on the bestseller list. While she is happy that her book has been well received and is pleased with the remuneration which is due to follow, she does not enjoy the publicity around the latter.

Having written short stories and plays, she decided to try her hand at a novel, which she wrote during weekends over the course of a year. The result is 'Light A Penny Candle’, a story about a friendship between two women which spans a thirty year period.

Initially the book had a mixed reception, but the most positive reviews came primarily from women. Panel contributor Lynn Geldof wonders if this is because friendship is valued more highly among women than men. Maeve Binchy agrees,

There is a thing about women’s friendships that is quite close, that men don’t share.

She acknowledges that men have deep friendships, but

It is of the strong and silent’s very solid and it’s all understood.

This episode of The Late Late Show was broadcast on 2 October 1982. The presenter is Gay Byrne.