Anne Enright: Ireland’s greatest living writer?

Anne Enright was catapulted from obscurity onto the international stage. She discusses fame and her relationship with her country at the Hay Festival.

Anne Enright was a little-known Irish writer when she won the Man Booker Prize (for her 2007 novel, The Gathering). Despite travelling the world attending events and meeting readers, she says she is unchanged by the sudden fame.

“Then you have to shut the door and look at the wall for three months, and it’s the same wall as the last wall you looked at” she explains, “the writing job is still the writing job.”

Speaking to Anita Anand at Hay Festival, she reveals that meeting her fans around the world, “these legions of fantastic women readers,” encouraged her to tailor her next book, The Forgotten Waltz for them, making it a more gratifying read, and including “lots more nice sex”.

She also discusses becoming Ireland’s first Laureate for Fiction – and the complex relationship Irish writers have with the country. “I have this amazing Irish tradition to both work against and to use” she says, “it’s a very nourishing tradition.”

Talking Books at Hay Festival: Anne Enright screens on BBC World News on 20 and 21 June 2015.

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