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Anne Enright, photo by Domnick Walsh
Anne Enright


NYS Writers Institute, April 18, 2012
8:00 p.m. Reading and McKinney Award Ceremony | Biotech Auditorium, Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy


Anne Enright, major contemporary Irish writer, winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, the British Commonwealth’s most prestigious literary award, will speak about her work and her new novel, The Forgotten Waltz (2012) at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in the Biotech Auditorium, Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Building, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy. The event is cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with Rensselaer’s 71st McKinney Writing Contest and Reading, and is 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 her novel, The Gathering (2007).Though considered a longshot for the prize, the book was selected unanimously by the panel of judges. The book was also named “Irish Novel of the Year” at the 2008 Irish Book Awards.

Enright’s new novel is The Forgotten Waltz, a tale of love and adultery, random and life-changing encounters, powerful moments of bliss, unexpected complications, and unintentional harm visited upon individuals and families. Writing in Oprah’s O Magazine, Lizzie Skurnick said, “Casting aside cultural bromides about the immorality of affairs, Enright puts us squarely in the center of a terrible truth:  Love can be miraculous—and still destroy everything in its path.”

Enright’s previous novel, The Gathering (2007), 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 come 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 is also the author of the recent collection of short stories, 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.”

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).

PREVIOUS VISIT: October 2, 2008

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