The author of Man Booker Prize winner The Gathering has been named as the first Irish Laureate for Fiction at ceremony in Dublin
By Anna Baddeley
Author Anne Enright has been appointed Ireland’s very first Fiction Laureate, a new post created by Arts Council Ireland.
Enright is best known for her family saga The Gathering, the surprise winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. As well as three other novels, she has published short stories and non fiction.
As Laureate, Enright will be required to deliver an annual lecture and take part in public events. She will also be responsible for promoting reading in Ireland, and encouraging greater engagement with Irish literature.
During her three-year tenure, Enright will be paid an annual stipend of 50,000 euro (£37,500), substantially more than her British equivalent, Carol Ann Duffy, who receives just £5,750 a year and a barrel of sherry.
Speaking after her appointment, at a ceremony in Dublin, Enright said: "It is a great honour to be chosen. I hope I can rise to the role, and maybe have some fun along the way.
"I take courage, as ever, from the readers I have met - especially in Ireland, but also abroad - who allow fiction to do its deeply personal work; who let Irish writers into their minds and hearts, and welcome them as their own."
Enright was chosen following a public call for nominations over the summer. An international panel, which included novelist Blake Morrison, was charged with making the historic decision. Enright was the “unanimous choice”, according to poet Paul Muldoon.
Enright was born in Dublin in 1962 and lives in Bray in County Wicklow. Her last novel, The Forgotten Waltz, was described by Telegraph reviewer Edmund Gordon as a work of "stylistic brilliance".
In 2007 she found herself at the centre of a controversy after an article she wrote for the London Review of Books on the disappearance of Madeline McCann.