Biography of Maureen Duffy
Maureen Patricia Duffy (born 21 October 1933) is a contemporary British novelist, poet, playwright, nonfiction author and activist.
Duffy's work often uses Freudian ideas and Greek mythology as frameworks. Her writing is distinctive for its use of contrasting voices, or streams of consciousness, often including the perspectives of outsiders. Her novels have been linked to a European tradition of literature which explores reality through the use of language and questioning, rather than through traditional linear narrative. James Joyce in particular, and Modernism in general, are significant influences on her fiction, as is Joyce Cary. Duffy has inspired many other writers and proved that the English novel need not be realistic and domestic, but can be fantastical, experimental and political.' Her writing in all forms is noted for her 'eye for detail and ear for language' and 'powerful intense imagery'.
Her early plays often depict working class life, with humour and evocative language, and she joined the Royal Court writers' group at a time when the social realist school, associated with such playwrights as John Osborne and Arnold Wesker, was transforming British drama. Some of her plays have been described as 'anarchic...dealing with taboo subjects..."total theater" reminiscent of the ideas of Antonin Artaud and Jean Genet, employing Brechtian techniques'. Jean-Paul Sartre is also an influence on her drama.
Duffy's affinity to London, present and past, and of its cosmopolitan inhabitants, often features in her writing; which celebrates diversity, regardless of class, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or species. She advocates 'an ethic of compassion' towards human and animal rights.