Paul Smith was born in Dublin on October 4, either in 1920 or 1925.
He lived abroad for many years, in Canada, where he worked in radio, the UK, Australia, and Sweden, and where he lectured in Uppsala University. In Ireland he worked as a costume maker and designer in the Abbey and Gate Theatres in Dublin.
His novels include Esther’s Altar (London and New York, Abelard-Schuman, 1959); The Countrywoman (New York, Charles Scribner, 1961; London, Heinemann, 1962); The Stubborn Season (New York, Charles Scribner, 1962; London, Heinemann, 1962); Stravaganza (New York, Scribner, 1963); Annie (New York, The Dial Press, 1972); and Come Trailing Blood ([a revised version of Esther’s Altar] London, Quartet Books, 1977).
His plays include Esther’s Altar for BBC Television – stage version for the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre, 1985; Miss Lemon (New York, Shelter West Company, 1986); and Trudy on Sunday (New York, Upstate Repertory Company, 1987).
The adaptation of The Countrywoman was commissioned for Siobhan McKenna, but she died shortly afterwards.
He was awarded the American Irish Foundation Literary Award in 1978, and was a member of Aosdána.
He died in 1996.