Enright wins literary award


Novelist and short story writer Anne Enright has won the Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award for 2004.

Enright was one of six authors shortlisted for the €20,000 first prize, which was for the best short story and which was presented to her in Dublin last night.

Her entry, Honey, was described by judge Ms Caroline Walsh, literary editor of The Irish Times, as a "classic" which "stood out at once".

"Like all great short stories, once read, it would linger forever in the reader's memory and was the work of a true master of the genre," she added.

Another member of the judging panel, the American writer Mr Tobias Wolff, said in a message read out at the ceremony: "Honey is a remarkable story. In the brief span of eight pages it conjures up the progress of a distinctive human soul through grief and desire and moral confusion to a self-awakening that fairly takes the breath away with its felt, material truth."

The other judge was the Scottish writer A.L Kennedy.

The prize was sponsored by Davy Byrne's pub which was immortalised in James Joyce's Ulysses. The competition was organised by the James Joyce Centre with The Irish Times and ReJoyce Dublin 2004.

Ms Enright was born in Dublin in 1962. Her collection of stories, The Portable Virgin, was published in 1991 and won her the Rooney Prize that year. Her 1995 novel The Wig my Father Wore was shortlisted for The Irish Times/Aer Lingus Irish Literature Prize.

Another of her novels, What Are You Like?, won the Royal Society of Authors Encore Prize in 2000. A book of her essays about motherhood, Making Babies, will be published in August.

The five runners up were: Kevin Barry, Linda Dennard, Philip O'Ceallaigh, Breda W. Ryan and Michael West.