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City of Books

Apr 28, 2021

At the age of 20, three months after meeting James Joyce, Nora Barnacle left everything she knew behind to share the adventure of a lifetime with him.

She was a maid in a Dublin hotel when they met, and he was a clever and ambitious young man who wanted to be a writer.

In 1904, they shipped out for mainland Europe, at times living a hand-to-mouth existence, at other times eating in the best restaurants. But through it all, Nora stuck by Joyce, who made her his muse and immortalised her as Molly Bloom in Ulysses.

Nuala O’Connor, who brings Nora vividly to life in her novel of the same name, discusses the famous literary couple.

Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce by Nuala O’Connor is published by New Island:

Produced and presented by Martina Devlin