Joseph O’Connor was born on September 20, 1963 in Dublin, Ireland to Sean O'Connor and Marie O'Grady. O'Connor's parents took an interest in fiction, poetry, theatre and music. His father had a passion for opera and Victorian poetry, and his mother admired the works of Oscar Wilde and Kate O'Brien. His parents' house was full of books of many kinds (www.josephoconnorauthor.com).
Judith Palmer, in the 2003 Independent newspaper article titled “Books: `Some Irish Made Vast Fortunes Out of the Famine,’" writes that “O’Connor is the eldest of five [children in his family].” More specifically, O'Connor's siblings are his sister Dr. Eimear O'Connor who is a published author and scholar, his sister Sinead O'Connor who is a famous singer and songwriter, his younger brother, Eoin who works for Sony Music Ireland and his other younger brother, John who is a psychotherapist (www.josephoconnorauthor.com).
In a 2014 newspaper article called “There Was Fear in My House Growing Up: Music, the Bay City Rollers, and My Sister Sinead O'Connor," O’Connor narrates that his parents’ marriage was unhappy, but the love of music that O’Connor and his siblings had took the fear away. “O’Connor’s parents ended up separating when he was 13” (Palmer). In 1985, according to his website, when O’Connor was only 21 years old, his mother died in a car accident when her car went into a slide on the way to Mass. Palmer records that “O’Connor’s father remarried and enlarged the family with three step-sisters and a half-brother." Even though O’Connor had a difficult childhood growing up, due to his parents’ unhappy marriage, he had a good relationship with his siblings (O’Connor).
His website mentions that O’Connor is married to an English playwright, screenwriter and novelist, Anne Marie Casey. In his 2013 newspaper article titled “This Much I Know: Joseph O’Connor,” O’Connor states that he met his wife in the bar of the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin at 6 pm when she was going on a date with another man. Sheila Langan, in the Irish America’s magazine article titled “The Power of the Past: Joseph O'Connor," writes that “the couple has two sons, James who was born in London around the time O’Connor started working on his novel, Star of the Sea, and Marcus.”
O'Connor, Joseph. "Once Upon a Life: Joseph O'Connor." Newspaper. The Guardian, 2010. Web.
---."There Was Fear in My House Growing Up: Music, the Bay City Rollers, and My Sister Sinead O'Connor." Newspaper. London: MailOnline, 2014. Web.
---.“This Much I Know: Joseph O’Connor.” Newspaper. Irish Examiner, 2013. Web.
Langan, Sheila. "The Power of the Past: Joseph O'Connor." Magazine. Irish America, 2012. Web.
Palmer, Judith. "Books: `Some Irish Made Vast Fortunes Out of the Famine’; Joseph O'Connor Has Abandoned His Modern Larrikins to Produce a Rare Fictional Account of Those Who Fled the Great Hunger, Says Judith Palmer. Portrait by Philip Sinden." The Independent: 20, 21. Jan 04 2003. ProQuest. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
www.josephoconnorauthor.com. n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.