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Ann Enright photo by Joe O'shaughnessy
Anne Enright


NYS Writers Institute, October 2, 2008

4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Anne Enright, major contemporary Irish writer, surprise winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, the British Commonwealth’s most prestigious literary award, will read from and discuss her  work on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and are free and open to the public.


Anne Enright, Irish fiction writer praised for her eccentric characters, lyrical style, unexpected comic touches, and depictions of family agony, received the 2007 Man Booker Prize, the British Commonwealth’s most prestigious literary award, for “The Gathering” (2007).Though considered a longshot for the prize, the novel was selected unanimously by the panel of judges. The book was also named “Irish Novel of the Year” at the 2008 Irish Book Awards.

“The Gathering” tells of the impact of alcoholism and suicide on a large Irish family. After Liam Hegarty drowns himself in the sea, the nine surviving children of the Hegarty family gather in Dublin for the wake, where unpleasant family secrets gradually bubble to the surface. Writing in the “Washington Post,” Peter Behrens said, “There is something livid and much that is stunning about ‘The Gathering,’ which deservedly won this year’s Man Booker Prize. Anger brushes off every page, a species of rage that aches to confront silence and speak truth at last.”

Enright’s newest book is the story collection, “Yesterday’s Weather” (2008). In these 31 tales, Enright presents an Ireland that— in the last ten years— has been utterly transformed by the forces of globalization, changing sexual mores, and a booming economy. “Kirkus Reviews” said, “Voiced predominantly by female narrators, these stories spill over with warmth, wisdom, earthiness and an exceptional vision. Another tour de force from a writer whose voice and perspective mark her as one of the cherishable talents of our era.” In advance praise, Colm Tóibín said, “Anne Enright’s style is as sharp and brilliant as Joan Didion’s; the scope of her understanding is as wide as Alice Munro’s . . . her vision of Ireland is as brave and original as Edna O’Brien’s.”

Enright’s earlier books include three novels, “The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch” (2003), the 19th century tale of an Irish prostitute who becomes the mistress of the dictator of Paraguay; “What Are You Like?” (2000), about a pair of twins separated at birth; and “The Wig My Father Wore” (1995), about a woman stuck in a drab Dublin existence until she is befriended by an angel. In a review of “What Are You Like?” that appeared  in the “Guardian,” James Wood said,  “A spry surrealist who challenges the world with extraordinary, lancing sentences...Enright captures something subterranean with a strange flick of her marvelous insight.”

Enright is also the author of the story collection, “The Portable Virgin” (1991); and the nonfiction book “Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood” (2004).

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.