Joseph O'Connor is an Irish novelist, best known for his 2002 historical novel Star of the Sea.
Before success as an author he was a journalist with the Sunday Tribune newspaper and Esquire magazine and is a regular contributor to Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ).
He is the eldest child of his parents Sean O'Connor and Marie O'Connor. They had five children and Joseph is brother to singer Sinéad O'Connor,
Educated at the renowned Blackrock College; he's a graduate of University College Dublin (UCD) with an M.A. in Anglo-Irish Literature, O'Connor did post-graduate work at Oxford University and received a second M.A. from Leeds Metropolitan University's Northern School of Film and Television in screenwriting. In the late 1980s he worked for the British Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign; his second novel, Desperadoes, drew on his experiences in revolutionary Nicaragua.
His novel Cowboys and Indians (1991) was on the shortlist for the Whitbread Prize. In 2002, he wrote the novel Star of the Sea, which The Economist listed as one of the top books of 2003. His most recent novel, Ghost Light is loosely based on the life of the actress Maire O'Neill, born Mary "Molly" Allgood, and her relationship with the Irish playwright John Millington Synge. It was published by Harvill Secker, London, 3 June 2010.
O'Connor is married to the television and film writer, Anne-Marie Casey. They have two sons.