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The Independent Culture
In Who's Who, she lists her hobbies as walking and meditating, a far cry from her first job which was working in a pharmacy. She even trained in that profession before becoming a writer. Not content with all that, she is the mother of the writer Carlo Gebler, her first name is Josephine but she's much better known as Edna O'Brien (above).

On the dramatic front (in, clearly, a deranged moment) she wrote the film Zee & Co - a bizarre mix of sophistry and sapphism featuring Susannah York snogging Michael Caine, plus jealous Elizabeth Taylor and her all- singing, all-dancing cleavage (write to me if you want a peek at the script).

But her best work has remarkable tenderness and sensuality. Pulses are quickening, therefore, at the prospect of her latest play, Our Father, with a strong cast, including the excellent Eleanor Methven, and directed by Lynne Parker.

The Almeida, London N1 (0171-359 4404) Thur to 23 Dec

David Benedict