Anne Enright to receive PEN Award for outstanding contribution to Irish literature

Author won Man Booker Prize for ‘The Gathering’ and was first Laureate of Irish Fiction

Anne Enright,  the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. Photograph: Alan Betson

Anne Enright, the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Man Booker winning author Anne Enright is to receive the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. The award will be presented by playwright Bernard Farrell at the Irish PEN Annual Dinner on Friday, February 16th at rhe Royal St George Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire.

PEN, which stands for poets, playwrights, editors, essayists and novelists, is an international association of writers which promotes literature and defends freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, its Irish membership has included Lady Gregory, WB Yeats, and Lord Longford.

In 1998 Irish PEN set up an award to honour an Irish writer who has made an outstanding contribution to Irish literature. This Award is for a significant body of work, written and produced over a number of years, and is open to novelists, playwrights, poets, and scriptwriters.

Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, studied English and philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is a former RTÉ television producer. She won the 2004 Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award for her story, Honey. Her first collection, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1991. A second collection, Taking Pictures was published in 2008 and her collected short stories came out the same year under the title Yesterday’s Weather. She has also published a book of essays, Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004) about the experience of becoming a mother.

Her novels are The Wig My Father Wore (1995), shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Irish Literature Prize; What Are You Like?, winner of the 2001 Encore Award and shortlisted for the 2000 Whitbread Novel Award; The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002); and The Gathering (2007) about a large Irish family gathering for the funeral of a wayward brother. The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Irish Novel of the Year. The Forgotten Waltz (2011) won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her latest novel The Green Road (2015) was awarded the BGIE Irish Novel of the Year Award in 2015 and is shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for Fiction.

She was the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction from 2015 to 2018 which is an initiative of the Arts Council of Ireland. Her successor will be announced on February 8th.

Previous recipients of the Irish PEN Award:

John B Keane

Brian Friel

Edna O’Brien

William Trevor

John McGahern

Neil Jordan

Seamus Heaney

Jennifer Johnston

Maeve Binchy

Thomas Kilroy

Roddy Doyle

Brendan Kennelly

Colm Tóibín

Joseph O’Connor

John Banville

Frank McGuinness

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

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