Carlo Gébler


Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954 and brought up in London. He is the son of novelists Edna O’Brien and Ernst Gébler. He studied English at the University of York and the practice of film-making at the National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield. He is a member of Aosdána. He was awarded a PhD by Queen’s University in 2009.

Carlo Gébler is the author of a range of books: novels including The Eleventh Summer (1985); Work and Play (1987); Life of a Drum (1991); The Cure (1994); How to Murder a Man (1998) and A Good Day For A Dog (2008); a collection of short stories, W9 and Other Lives (1996); novels for children including August ‘44 (2003) and The Bull Raid (2005); the travel books, Driving through Cuba: an east-west journey (1988); and The Glass Curtain: Inside an Ulster community (1991); and the work of narrative history, The Siege of Derry (2005), an account of Derry’s 105-day struggle against the Jacobite army in 1689.

Carlo Gébler also writes plays: these include Dance of Death (2000), a version of August Strindberg’s work of the same name; 10 Rounds (2002), an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde relocated to Belfast; and Henry & Harriet (2007). He contributes reviews, articles and short stories to many national publications, has written a number of opera libretti, and occasionally works as a producer and director of television documentaries.

In 2000 he published an autobiography, Father and I: A memoir. In 2008 he co-authored My Father’s Watch: The Story of a Child Prisoner in ‘70s Britain with Patrick Maguire. He lives outside Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and teaches creative writing at HMP Maghaberry, where he is writer-in-residence.

“Both my parents [Edna O’Brien and Ernest Gébler] were writers. The most important thing I learnt was that you can type out words on bits of paper, post them off and they send back money. My mother was more widely regarded as an author than my father, but her presence in her children’s life was maternal rather than literary: she was the woman who made the dinner and washed our hair.”

The Eleventh Summer Hamish Hamilton, 1985
August in July Hamish Hamilton, 1986
Work and Play Hamish Hamilton, 1987
Driving through Cuba: an east-west journey Hamish Hamilton, 1988
The TV Genie Hamish Hamilton, 1989
Malachy and his Family Hamish Hamilton, 1990
Life of a Drum Hamish Hamilton, 1991
The Glass Curtain: inside an Ulster community Hamish Hamilton, 1991
The Witch That Wasn’t (illustrated by V. Littlewood) Hamish Hamilton, 1991
The Cure Hamish Hamilton, 1994
W9 and Other Lives Lagan Press, 1996
Frozen Out Mammoth, 1998
How to Murder a Man Little, Brown, 1998
The Base (illustrated by Dan Williams) Mammoth, 1999
Dance of Death (adaptation) Lagan Press, 2000
Father and I: a memoir Little, Brown, 2000
Caught on a Train Mammoth, 2001
10 Rounds (adaptation) Lagan Press, 2002
August ‘44 Egmont, 2003
The Bull Raid Egmont, 2005
The Siege of Derry Little, Brown, 2005
Henry and Harriet: And Other Plays Lagan Press, 2007
A Good Day For A Dog Lagan Press, 2008
My Father’s Watch: The Story of a Child Prisoner in 70s Britain (with Patrick Maguire) Fourth Estate, 2008
The Dead Eight, New Island Books, 2011

1998 How to Murder a Man, long-listed Booker
2001 Bisto Prize (Ireland) (merit prize) Caught on a Train
2002 Ewart-Biggs Prize (shortlist) Ten Rounds
2003 Bisto Prize (Ireland) (shortlist) August ‘44