Irish novelist, daughter of playwright D. Johnston, born in Dublin. Her novels have explored, in spare and lyrical prose, the legacy of Irish history, its Troubles, its divided loyalties, and its land and seascapes. She moved to Derry in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Her works include The Gates (1973), a poignant, elegiac description of a young girl's return from schooling in England to her decaying family home. Other titles include Shadows on Our Skin (1977), a coming‐of‐age novel set in Derry which explores sectarian imperatives; The Old Jest (1979); The Railway Station Man (1984); The Invisible Worm (1991); Two Moons (1998), a three‐generation, three‐women novel of retrospect, love, and ageing; The Gingerbread Woman (2000); This Is Not a Novel (2002); and Grace and Truth (2005).