22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Anne Enright

Portrait Anne Enright
© Hartwig Klappert

Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962 and attended the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Vancouver. Back in her home city she studied philosophy at the renowned Trinity College, and at the University of East Anglia in Norwich she undertook studies in creative writing in a course set by Malcolm Bradbury in 1970, also attended by the likes of Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. Enright worked for several years as a programme director and producer at the public broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann.

In 1991 Enright presented her first collection of short stories, »The Portable Virgin«, which earned accolades from various quarters including her one-time mentor Angela Carter, who praised her prose as »elegant, scrupulously poised, always intelligent and, not least, original«. Since 1993 she has been completely devoted to writing. Her first novel, »The Wig My Father Wore« (1995), a bizarre love story, has its narrator falling in love with a suicidal angel. With empathy and a great lightness of touch she takes on the big literary themes like illness, death and loss, spirituality and physicality. Surreal episodes and the use of Irish idioms are recurring stylistic characteristics of this and later works, as is her confrontation with themes like sexuality, identity and complex familial structures. In »What Are You Like?« (2000), she follows the diverging paths of a set of twins, who are separated shortly after their birth only to find each other once more later in life. In the melange of fact and fiction which forms her lyrical historical novel »The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch« (2002), Enright scrutinises the biography of an influential Irish mistress in the 19th century. Enright finally achieved her breakthrough with a family story spanning multiple generations, »The Gathering« (2007). Along with her prose Enright regularly writes essays and reviews. Her writings have appeared in such publications as »The Paris Review«, »Granta«, »The New Yorker«, »London Review of Books«, »The Guardian«, »The Irish Times« and »The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction«.

Enright has received numerous prestigious prizes for her literary work including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (1991), the Encore Award (2001) as well as the highly remunerated Man Booker Prize for her novel »The Gathering« in 2007, which was also chosen as the Irish Novel of the Year the following year. In 2012 she received the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for »The Forgotten Waltz« (2011). Enright is married to theatre director Martin Murphy. She lives with her family in Bray, on the east coast of Ireland, not far from Dublin.