Dublin‐born novelist, journalist, and short‐story writer. Her first novel, Holy Pictures (1983), is a tragi‐comic family story set in the 1920s seen through the eyes of young Nan Cantwell. Other novels include Last Resorts (1984), a holiday romance; Black Baby (1988), a satiric comedy about a child sold to a woman by nuns; Home Rule (1992), which traces the earlier life of Nan Cantwell's grandparents in the 1890s; Room for a Single Lady (1997); Beloved Stranger (1999); and Emma Brown (2003), a continuation of Charlotte Brontë's incomplete novel, Emma. Boylan's prose is lively and witty, and she had a gift for recalling the memories of childhood and the delights and embarrassments of erotic adventure. Her volumes of stories include A Nail in the Head (1983), Concerning Virgins (1989), That Bad Woman (1995), and The Stolen Child (1996).