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May 12, 2011


Emma Donoghue, author of award-winning novel ROOM, to speak at Brescia University College

London, ON – Emma Donoghue, the award-winning author of Slammerkin, Hood, and the newly released and highly acclaimed novel ROOM, will be discussing variations on the theme of motherhood in her life and works. Presented by The Circle Women’s Centre, this Sophia Series lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday May 19, 2011 at Brescia University College.

In 2010, ROOM became an instant bestseller, winning numerous awards and receiving international praise, including being shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Narrated entirely by five-year-old Jack, who is held captive in a room with his Ma, the story illustrates the strength of the parent-child bond and mother-love as sacrifice and salvation, even in the most desperate situations.

It is no wonder that Emma can incorporate the theme of family and more specifically, motherhood, into her works. Emma was born in Ireland as the youngest of eight siblings. In 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, for “love,” she admits. Emma can sincerely write about motherhood, as her experiences raising her eight-year-old son, Finn, and three-year-old daughter, Una, provided her with a great deal of inspiration.

“I suppose the theme (of motherhood, in ROOM) drew me irresistibly because I have two small children. In my experience, the bond between mother and newborn creates a tiny, cozy world that gradually relaxes its magic to let the rest of the world in,” Emma explains. “But motherhood – even under ideal circumstances – has elements of nightmare as well as fairytale, sci-fi, and realism. It’s a trip like no other, and it can occasionally feel like a locked room.”

As a prominent writer who never shies away from themes of female empowerment in her works, she was a natural choice for The Circle – a centre for women’s spirituality and activism – to invite for this Sophia Series lecture.

The Sophia Series provides Brescia students and the London community the opportunity to hear the wisdom of extraordinary women who boldly engage in our current cultural experience, and bring positive transformation to our rapidly changing world.

Emma’s books will be available for purchase and can be signed at the end of the lecture. The lecture will be in the auditorium of the St. James building at Brescia at 7:30 p.m. on May 19, 2011. Admission is by donation and there will be free parking.

For more information about the Sophia Series, or Emma Donoghue’s lecture, please contact Kim Young-Milani, Director of The Circle Women’s Centre, at or 519-432-8353 (extension 28385).


Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit