Peter is from Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. He says he grew up in an extended family of storytellers. Although he wrote continuously in school, in university and as a young adult, he also worked in a variety of other jobs, including accountancy, the sugar industry, and farming. He married Carol, a Jungian analyst, in 1973.
His first novels, beginning with NOBLE LORD in 1986, were thrillers. Following the death of his eldest son, also Peter, in 1990, the direction of the writing changed. He began to write contemporary fiction, based on life in Waterford, which he fictionalised as Monument, a port town in Ireland’s south east. Beginning with TAPES OF THE RIVER DELTA, these novels have been widely acclaimed. CONSEQUENCES OF THE HEART was shortlisted for the Listowel Writer’s Prize; THE SEA AND THE SILENCE won the prestigious Prix de l’Europe.
THE TAOISEACH was a controversial best seller, whilst CAPITAL SINS, for which Cunningham was described by the Irish Times newspaper as “the Hemmingway of the Celtic Tiger”, was a satire set in the Irish economic meltdown.
SISTER CARAVAGGIO, conceived with his close friend, the late Maeve Binchy, and written as a collaborative novel with four other well-known Irish writers, was also a best seller.
He has expressed a wish to write for the stage and is developing a comedy loosely based on CAPITAL SINS.
THE TROUT, was published by Sandstone Press in the UK and in the USA on July 4 by Arcade.
And was followed by ACTS OF ALLEGIANCE, which was also published by Sandstone and Arcade. This novel has now been longlisted for the prestigious Dublin Literary Award.
FREEDOM IS A LAND I CANNOT SEE also published by Sandstone, is an epic, life-changing story set in the cauldron of a country fighting for its right to exist.