We are delighted to welcome two of Ireland’s finest contemporary writers, Anne Enright and Louise Kennedy, for the final event of Cúirt 2023. Their work shares themes, of family, compassion and fracture, and a needling towards the depth of human – especially women’s – experience.
Anne Enright, the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, has been described by the New Yorker as a ‘rich, lyrical prose writer, who cascades among novelties—again and again, finding the unexpected adjective, the just noun.’ From a debut short story collection The Portable Virgin, to the Booker winning The Gathering, and more recently, The Green Road and Actress, Anne’s elegant and scrupulous voice transports us through funny, bleak and engrossing literature.
Louise Kennedy’s work has been described in the Guardian as ‘salty and wise’, as holding a rare quality in fiction, ‘a sense of utter conviction’. From her debut short story collection The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, to her novel Trespasses (Novel of the Year 2022 – An Post Irish Book Awards), Louise’s sharp and vivid writing gives us tender, authentic stories.
Join Anne and Louise in conversation with Glenn Patterson, as they discuss the themes that compel them, and share their experiences of writing.
Anne Enright is one of Ireland’s most prolific and celebrated writers. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines including The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Her novel The Gathering (2007) won the Man Booker Prize and The Green Road (2015) won the Bord Gáis Energy Novel of the Year Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. Her latest novel, Actress (2020) was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020. Her work has been translated into almost 40 languages.
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co. Down. Her short stories have appeared in journals including The Stinging Fly, The Tangerine, Banshee, Wasifiri and Ambit, and she has written for the Guardian, Irish Times, BBC Radio 4 and RTE Radio 1. Her work has won prizes and she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in both 2019 and 2020. Before starting her writing career, she spent nearly thirty years working as a chef. She lives in Sligo with her husband and two children.