Anne Enright is an esteemed Irish author and Man Booker Prize Winner whose works have been translated into several languages.
She has been described as a “towering figure in contemporary Irish writing” and “one of the most daring and unpredictable authors alive today.”
In this exclusive interview, Anne shares her thoughts on writing, her inspirations, and her advice for aspiring authors. She talks about the power of words, her experience winning the Man Booker Prize, and her views on the current state of Irish literature.
Through this interview, we gain insight into the inner workings of Anne’s mind and the sources of her creativity.
Anne’s Thoughts on Writing
Anne Enright started writing at a young age, and she has been a full-time writer for the past two decades.
She has been a prolific author, writing several short stories and novels, including
- The Wrecking Crew,
- The Forgotten Waltz,
- the short story collection Taking Pictures,
- The Green Road, and
- the novel The Shipwrecked House.
She has won several prestigious awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Man Booker Prize.
In this interview, Anne talks about her thoughts on writing, her approach to each novel, her writing environment, and the time she dedicates to each project. She says writing is “the best and the worst bit of being a writer”.
She says that the “most exciting, most wonderful, most thrilling” aspect of the profession is “having the idea that you’re going to spend years working out.” She says, “Nothing is as pleasurable; nothing is as productive; nothing is as exciting as the moment you think of the idea for a novel.”
She adds that “the most painful, the most frustrating, the most disappointing” part of writing is actually “going through the process of finishing a novel.” She says that “only a small percentage of those ideas ever make it out the other side”.
Anne’s Experience of Winning the Man Booker Prize
In this interview, Anne Enright talks about the experience of winning the Man Booker Prize. She says that when her name was announced as the winner, “the whole world seemed to change color”.
She says that she “had no idea what would happen next”, and she “had no plan”. She adds that she “hadn’t considered it a career move.” She says that she “had just been lucky enough to have a book that was published that year and to have been noticed”.
Anne was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2010 for her novel The Forgotten Waltz. The award is among the most prestigious awards in the world of literature. She was the first author from Ireland to win the prize and the second woman to win the award.
The Forgotten Waltz is a novel about a marriage and a couple that experiences the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
Anne’s Sources of Inspiration
Anne Enright says that she has “a lot of different sources of inspiration.” She says she “can get inspired by a painting or a piece of music.” She adds that she “can get inspired by conversation” and “can get inspired by reading somebody else’s work”.
She says a “good book can make you feel like you have to write”. She adds that “a bad book can make you feel like you never want to write again”. She explains that she has “always been driven by curiosity.”
She says she “always wants to know what will happen next.” She adds that she ” wants [s] to share that curiosity with readers.”
Anne’s Views on the Current State of Irish Literature
In this interview, Anne Enright talks about the current state of Irish literature. Irish literature “has gone through a really exciting time in the past decade”.
She says that there has been “an explosion of new Irish writers” and that there has been “a real widening of the field.” She adds that there has been a “great deal of innovation in terms of style and form and an acceptance that Irish literature is not just one thing.”
She says that the “terms of the debate have changed” and that there has been a “shift in the focus of what Irish writing is.” She adds that Irish literature “doesn’t have to be about Irish history anymore.”
She says that the “identity politics of the 1990s and early 2000s seems to have faded” and that Irish writers “are just writing books, and writing them beautifully.”
In this interview, Anne Enright shares her advice for aspiring authors. She advises writers to “put yourself in a position to write.” She says that writers “don’t choose to write, you’re driven to write” and that they “have to get past the bit where you feel you’re not a writer.”
Aspiring authors should “find a way of putting yourself in a position to have the thoughts that come when you’re not trying to think them.”
She explains that the “best writing happens when you’re not aware of it happening” and that “you want to get past the point where you’re aware of the fact that you’re not writing.”
She says the most important thing for aspiring authors is “to love what you do and do it well.” She says there are “no shortcuts” and that it takes “a lot of time and a lot of hard work to be any good at this.”