Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955 and educated at Trinity College. He is a playwright, poet and novelist. His play, The Steward of Christendom, was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in March 1995 and subsequently transferred to Broadway. Charting the journey of Thomas Dunne, once the respected Chief Superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, into mental decline, Barry confronts the uneasy subject of the divisive Irish War of Independence. The play garnered several prizes, among them the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, the Ireland/America Literary Prize, the Book Critics Circle Award for Best New Play and the Writers' Guild Award. Continuing his exploration into the next generations of the Dunne family in two novels, Annie Dunne (2002) focuses on the daughter's efforts to maintain her personal freedom in post-Independence Ireland, while Barry's subsequent novel, A Long Long Way, takes the reader back into the trenches of World War I where the son, Willie Dunne, experiences a terrible coming of age. The latter work was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2005 as well as for the 2007 International IMPAC Award. Barry's new play, The Pride of Parnell Street premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival in September 2007. The Secret Scripture (2008) won the Costa Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2008. On Canaan's Side (2011), was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011. His latest novel, The Temporary Gentleman was published in 2014. Sebastian Barry is a member of the Irish affiliation of creative artists, Aosdána.