Éilís Ni Dhuibhne was born in Dublin in 1954. She holds a BA in English and an M Phil in Medieval Studies from UCD. She went to Denmark (University of Copenhagen) on a folklore scholarship and in 1982 she received a PhD in Folklore.
She is a novelist, a short story writer and a dramatist. She was elected a member of Aosdána in 2003. Her work The Dancers Dancing was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000. Cois Life published two of her plays, Milseog an tSamhraidh and Dún na mBan Trí Thine, in 1997. Other plays by Éilis are The Nettle Spinner and the radio plays Casadh an Taperecorder and Bábóga. She has won many awards, including The Stewart Parker Award, The Bisto Book of the Year Award, and bursaries from the Arts Council in 1986 and 1998. Her books won Oireachtas prizes in 2000, 2006 and 2008 respectively. Both Hurlamboc and Dún an Airgid were shortlisted for Irish language Book of the Year/Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin. Hurlamboc earned an IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Award in 2007.
Her main works in English are the novels The Bray House, The Dancers Dancing and Fox Swallow Scarecrow. She has also written several novels for children: The Hiring Fair, Blueberry Sunday, Penny Farthing Sally, and The Sparkling Rain. Her English short story collections are Blood and Water, Eating Women is Not Recommended, The Inland Ice, The Pale Gold of Alaska, and Midwife to the Fairies. Her work has been translated to German, French, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Slovenian amongst others.
She worked as a librarian in the National Library for many years and now teaches on the MA in Creative Writing in UCD.