Jennifer Johnston (born 12 January 1930 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist. She has won a number of awards, including the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest in 1979 and a Lifetime Achievement from the Irish Book Awards (2012). The Old Jest, a novel about the Irish War of Independence, was later made into a film called The Dawning, starring Anthony Hopkins, produced by Sarah Lawson and directed by Robert Knights.
Born in Dublin to Irish actress and director Shelah Richards, and Irish playwright Denis Johnston. A cousin of actress and film star Geraldine Fitzgerald, via Fitzgerald's mother, Edith (née Richards), Jennifer Johnston was educated at Trinity College Dublin, and currently lives near Dublin. Other cousins include the actresses Tara Fitzgerald and Susan Fitzgerald.
Johnston was born into the Church of Ireland and many of her novels deal with the fading of the Protestant Anglo-Irish ascendancy in the 20th century. She married a fellow student at Trinity College, Ian Smyth in 1951. She is a mother of four, and is a member of Aosdána.