Irish novelist and short‐story writer, born in Cork, the son of a police constable. He was educated at the National University of Ireland and Harvard, and was a member of the Irish Republican Army during the Troubles. With the encouragement of E. Garnett, he became a writer. His first collection, Midsummer Night Madness and Other Stories (1932), was followed by other collections, and by three novels (A Nest of Simple Folk, 1934; Bird Alone, 1936; and Come Back to Erin, 1940), all of which deal with the frustrations of Irish society and the doomed aspirations of Irish nationalists. He wrote several biographies and a study of the Irish people, The Irish (1947). He is best known for his short stories, many of which evoke frustrated lives, missed opportunities, characters limited by their environment, and which clearly demonstrate O'Faolain's allegiance to Chekhov; later stories (The Heat of the Sun: Stories and Tales, 1966; The Talking Trees, 1971) tend to be dryer, more amusing, and more resilient in tone. His autobiography, Vive Moi!, was published in 1964, and his Collected Stories in 1981.