Brian Friel was born Bernard Patrick Friel in 1929 in Northern Ireland. The future playwright attended St. Columb's College and graduated from St. Patrick's College. He spent a decade working as a teacher in Londonderry after deciding that he did not want to become a priest. Friel gained confidence as a writer when his short stories began to be published in the New Yorker magazine. He has produced several volumes of short stories, including A Saucer of Larks, The Gold in the Sea, and Give Me Your Answer, Do! But Friel is better known for writing plays. His first play, Philadelphia, Here I Come! is about an Irish immigrant who comes to America. His 1989 play Aristocrats won Best Foreign Play Award from the New York Drama Critics Circle. Dancing at Lughnasa, about a household of women in Ireland during the 1930s, won a Tony Award for best play in 1992. Other plays include Faith Healer, Molly Sweeney, and Wonderful Tennessee.