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Anne Enright

Anne Enright at Literaturhaus Köln (Cologne, Germany), 18 November 2008
Born 11 October 1962 (1962-10-11) (age 47)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Writer
Nationality Irish
Writing period 1991–present
Notable work(s) What Are You Like?, The Gathering

Anne Enright (born 11 October 1962) is a Booker Prize-winning Irish author.[1] She has published essays, short stories, a non-fiction book and four novels. Before her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Enright had a low profile in Ireland and the United Kingdom, although her books were favourably reviewed and widely praised. Her writing explores themes such as family relationships, love and sex, Ireland's difficult past and its modern zeitgeist.[2]



Enright won an international scholarship to Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, where she studied for an International Baccalaureate for two years. She received an English and philosophy degree from Trinity College Dublin. She began writing in earnest when her family gave her an electric typewriter for her 21st birthday. She won a scholarship to the University of East Anglia's Creative Writing Course, where she was taught by Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury and earned an M.A.[3][4]

Enright was a television producer and director for RTÉ in Dublin for six years.[5] She was a producer for the ground-breaking RTÉ programme Nighthawks for four years.[2] She then worked in children's programming for two years and wrote at the weekends. The Portable Virgin, a collection of her short stories, was published in 1991. The Portable Virgin won the 1991 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Enright began writing full-time in 1993.[6]

Enright lives in Bray, County Wicklow. She is married to Martin Murphy, who is director of the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire. They have two children.[7]


Enright's first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, was published in 1995. The book explores themes such as love, motherhood, Roman Catholicism, and sex. The narrator of the novel is Grace, who lives in Dublin and works for a tacky game show. Her father wears a wig that cannot be spoken of in front of him. An angel called Stephen who committed suicide in 1934 and has come back to earth to guide lost souls moves into Grace's home and she falls in love with him.[8]

Enright's next novel, What Are You Like? (2000), is about twin girls called Marie and Maria who are separated at birth and raised apart from each other in Dublin and London. It looks at tensions and ironies between family members. It was short-listed in the novel category of the Whitbread Awards.[9] The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002) is a fictionalised account of the life of Eliza Lynch, an Irish woman who was the consort of Paraguayan president Francisco Solano López and became Paraguay's most powerful woman in the 19th century.[10] Her book Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004) is a collection of candid and humorous essays about childbirth and motherhood. Enright's fourth novel, The Gathering, was published in 2007.

Enright's writings have appeared in several magazines, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review, and the Irish Times. She was once a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4, and now reviews for The Guardian and RTÉ.[11][12][13] The 4 October 2007 issue of the London Review of Books published her essay, "Disliking the McCanns", about Kate and Gerry McCann, the British parents of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in suspicious circumstances while on holiday in Portugal in May 2007. The essay was criticized by some journalists.[14][15][16]

Enright won the Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award for 2004.[17] She also won the Royal Society of Authors Encore Prize.[18] On 16 October 2007 Enright was awarded the Man Booker Prize, which included a cash award of £50,000, for The Gathering. The novel also won the 2008 Irish Novel of the Year.


  • The Portable Virgin (1991)
  • The Wig My Father Wore (1995)
  • What Are You Like? (2000)
  • The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002)
  • Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004)
  • The Gathering (2007)
  • Taking Pictures (2008)
  • Yesterday's Weather (2009)


  1. ^ Shortlist Announcement, The Man Booker Prize.
  2. ^ a b "Low-profile literary purist gatecrashes Booker party", Irish Independent, 2007-10-17,, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  3. ^ Deevy, Patricia (2002-10-13), "Life's exquisite pleasures", Irish Independent,, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  4. ^ Chatterjee, Manini (2007-10-18), "Anne and I, and those days - In Delhi, memories of a Booker winner from Dublin", The Telegraph,, retrieved 2007-10-19  
  5. ^ Hayden, Anne, 29 December 2005, Anne Enright, The Sunday Business Post.
  6. ^ Hoping to win another Booker Prize for Ireland, Bray People.
  7. ^ Purcell, Bernard; Battersby, Eileen (2007-10-17), "Irish novelist beats the odds to win Booker Prize for 'The Gathering'", The Irish Times,, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  8. ^ Gilling, Tom (2001-11-18), "Earth Angel", New York Times,,%20Anne, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  9. ^ "What are you like? by Anne Enright", The Irish Times, 2001-03-03,, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  10. ^ Seymour, Miranda (2003-03-23), "First Mistress of Paraguay", New York Times,,%20Anne, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  11. ^ Lawless, Jill, Anne Enright wins Booker Prize, Yahoo! News.
  12. ^ Irish woman wins Man Booker Prize, RTÉ.ie.
  13. ^ Tonkin, Boyd, 19 October 2007, The fearless wit of Man Booker winner Anne Enright, The Independent.
  14. ^ Enright, Anne, October 2007, Diary: Disliking the McCanns, London Review of Books.
  15. ^ Gammell, Caroline, & Simpson, Aislinn, 17 October 2007, Booker winner writes of dislike for McCanns, Daily Telegraph.
  16. ^ Leith, Sam, 22 October 2007, Anne Enright was spot on about McCann mania, Daily Telegraph.
  17. ^ "Enright wins literary award", The Irish Times, 2004-06-09,, retrieved 2007-10-17  
  18. ^ "Anne shortlisted for Man Booker Prize", Bray People, 2007-09-27,, retrieved 2007-10-17  

External links


Essays by Anne Enright



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