Her first novel, Breakfast in Babylon, won the 1996 Book of the Year in her native Ireland at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week. The next year, Houghton Mifflin released the book in the US. More Bread Or I’ll Appear, her second novel, was published internationally in 1999. Her third novel, Baby Zero, was published in the UK and Ireland in March 2007, and released in the US in 2014. The Cruelty Men is her latest novel, published in June 2018.
Emer wrote several children's books: Why is the Moon Following Me? (2013); Pooka, a Halloween book for children (2016); and The Pig Who Danced (2017).
Apart from working in literature Emer Martin studied painting in New York and has had two sell-out solo shows of her paintings at the Origin Gallery in Harcourt Street, Dublin.
In 2000 she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship.