Anne Donovan grew up in Coatbridge, a town in North Lanarkshire. She is best known for her first novel, the highly successful Buddha Da.
After university, Donovan became an English teacher, a post that she has only recently given up, in order to concentrate full-time on her writing. Although always a keen writer, she grew in confidence after attending a writer’s retreat in 1995. She then went on to win the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Award in 1997.
Donovan has had prize-winning short stories published in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio, she has also written for the stage and radio. Her first published work, Hieroglyphics and Other Stories – a collection of short stories – was published by Canongate in 2001.
Buddha Da was published in 2003 by Canongate and received a great deal of attention: it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Scottish Book of the Yaer Award and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The book received a Scottish Arts Council Award and, in 2004, won Le Prince Maurice Award in Mauritius.
Buddha Da is the story of an ordinary working man from Glasgow, who becomes involved with Buddhist teachings as he approaches his fortieth birthday. The idea springs from the author’s own involvement in learning meditation at the Glasgow Buddhist centre in Sauchiehall Street.
Anne Donovan has started work on the screenplay for Buddha Da since Wasted Talent optioned it, with the hope of it being turned into a film. Her second novel Being Emily was published in 2008.