Douglas Kennedy was born in Manhattan in 1955. His father was a commodities broker and his mother worked at NBC. In 1977, he returned to Dublin and started a co-operative theatre company with a friend. Thus he was hired to run the Abbey Theatre's second house, The Peacock. At the age of 28, he resigned from The Peacock to write full time. After several radio plays for the BBC and one stage play - "Send Lawyers", "Guns and Money", premiered at the Peacock in 1986 - he decided to switch direction and wrote a narrative travel book, "Beyond the Pyramids".
This appeared in 1988, the same year that he and his ex-wife moved to London. Two more non-fiction titles and a novel, "The Dead Heart", followed. “The Dead Heart” (1994) attracted just about everybody’s attention with its unapologetic language, its shrewd allegoric portrayal of a totalitarian society and his sardonic, yet comprehensive, attitude towards the shortcomings of our devoid of meaning contemporary existence. Yet, it wasn’t until 3 years later that Kennedy came to international acclaim with his second novel “The Big Picture” – a stunning account of happiness’ price.
His subsequent novels include "The Pursuit of Happiness", "A Special Relationship", "State of the Union". "The Woman in the Fifth" and "Leaving the World". His work has been translated into twenty-one languages. In April 2007, he was awarded the French decoration, the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In November 2009 he received the first "Grand Prix du Figaro", awarded by the newspaper "Le Figaro". He has two children, Max and Amelia. He divides his time between London, Paris, Berlin and Maine.