Naoise Dolan: ‘I feel like someone is going to punish me for being too proud of myself’

Naoise Dolan has many reasons to be proud; Her debut novel Exciting Times was a Sunday Times best seller and she was also shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020. Even so, the Trinity graduate sometimes lets self-doubt creep in. “I feel like someone is going to punish me for being too happy or too proud of myself,” she tells Róisín Ingle on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast.

“And so if I do it, the punishment will be lighter than if someone else does it,” she says. It’s a form of ‘self-protection’ Dolan says, coupled with “a general Irish need to cut yourself down, before other people cut you down”.

Dolan, who almost pursued a career in law after graduating from Trinity, has just released her highly-anticipated second novel, The Happy Couple. While writing her first book, the author explains how she “never thought that writing could be my job… I just intended it to be a fun hobby”.

In this episode, we also hear about Dolan’s move to Berlin, her life as an extroverted introvert and why she finds her characters annoying “in a good way”.


Listen back to this conversation in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times