Peter Cunningham was born in Waterford into an extended family of storytellers.
In the 1990s, he began to write contemporary fiction based on life in Waterford, which he fictionalised as Monument, a port town in Ireland’s south east. These novels were widely acclaimed, with Consequences of the Heart shortlisted for the Listowel Writer’s Prize and The Sea and the Silence winning the prestigious Prix de l’Europe.
Capital Sins, for which Cunningham was described by the Irish Times newspaper as “the Hemingway 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. His novel, Acts of Allegiance, was widely acclaimed on publication in 2017 and was subsequently nominated for the Dublin International Literary Award. Cunningham was one of the nominees in 2017 for the Laureate for Irish Fiction, a new role inaugurated by the Arts Council of Ireland.
His latest novel, "a superbly crafted novel" according to the Irish Times, Freedom is a Land I Cannot See was published this year by Sandstone Press. He is a member of Aosdána.