Award-winning author Anne Enright charmed the assembled audience during her visit to DU Players yesterday, Tuesday 30th September.
Enright, who has been awarded the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, as well as the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (1991), the Encore Award (2001) and Irish Novel of the Year (2008), was interviewed by Professor Chris Morash in the intimate setting of the Players Theatre. Enright was evidently at ease in her surroundings and she spoke fondly of her time in Trinity College, particularly her involvement with Players.
She also discussed her time at RTÉ and her work on the RTÉ programme Nighthawks.
Enright is in the process of completing her next book, a work which presents a “female Lear.” She believes that “all the emotions in King Lear can be unhooked from the events” and these “Lear emotions” have informed her most recent work. Enright discussed writing and the life of a writer throughout the interview. In the context of her new work, she noted that at certain stages she became so intensely involved in the characters and the world of the book that the real, external world became “cardboard” by comparison.
Enright went on to discuss the interaction between the enclosed, solitary elements of life as a writer and the public persona that comes with success. In looking back on her path to becoming a writer, Enright stated plainly, “I did English in order not to work in the bank.” Enright also noted that for her there can be a depressive element to writing and believes that one “writes best when sinking in or rising out a depression.”
Enright also emphasised the importance of using your present situation in your writing, commenting “I’m a great believer in working from wherever you are, not wishing you were somewhere else in order to be able to write a different book.” “If you pay close attention to where you are now then you might be able to use it in some way,” she continued.
The current chair of DU Players, Dónal McKeating, presented Enright with the honorary patronage of DU Players at the close of the interview.