Anne Enright: an utterly distinct body of work with a spine of dark humour.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

We are not short of exceptional women writers in Ireland. When it comes to the canon and continuity, Anne Enright rightly sits alongside Elizabeth Bow(...)

Last year the writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh created a series of hand-drawn bookmarks of some of her female literary heroes. Among them were G(...)

“In a paragraph, sometimes even in one sentence, Anne Enright can lure you from the mundane to the sublime with a bleakly humorous patter of observations and abdications.” Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

In a paragraph, sometimes even in one sentence, Anne Enright can lure you from the mundane to the sublime with a bleakly humorous patter of observa(...)

Anne Enright in 2002: “She delineated with great compassion and verve the emotional landscape of young women in a wholly convincing and engaging way”

I first got Anne Enright’s work – as in I felt it, I understood it, I bought it – when I read her third book, What Are You Like? She delineated wit(...)

Sara Baume: ‘There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever finish a book or that you’ll even get a publisher – and even when you do, you panic about the reviews, or the second novel’

‘To some people it might look like I’ve just popped up really quickly, but it’s been five years since I finished the creative writing master’s in T(...)

Hall of fame: (Clockwise from left) Patrick McCabe; Frank McGuinness; Deirdre Madden; Colum McCann; Neil Jordan; Joseph O’Connor; Sebastian Barry and Dermot Healy

When Frank McGuinness, the playwright, was 16 a teacher told him that he’d never get to university, that nobody from his background in Buncran(...)

Illustration: Thinkstock

Ireland will get its first Laureate for Fiction in January 2015, chosen from a longlist of 34 writers announced recently. The €150,000 laureateship(...)

The duchess of Cornwall speaks at the awards dinner for the 2014 Man Booker Prize at the Guildhall in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

THE OPENING LINES 1. “He should have seen it coming.” 2. “Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with(...)

John Banville, ‘the Proust of Ireland’, pictured in Dublin in 2002. “His prose is very dense, and he goes out in a peculiar way; to observe people.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It is the dilemma of many an aspiring writer. If you want to write books and keep food on the table, it’s best to keep the day job.A character in Hadr(...)

Contenders?: Anne Enright, Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan (top row); and Kevin Barry, Belinda McKeon and Jennifer Johnston (bottom row)

Writers’ incomes made headlines this summer. When the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, a UK organisation that gathers and distributes roy(...)