On Friday 17th December you will be able to access the event which closed our literary festival: a recorded interview between our esteemed patron, Edna O’Brien and Dr Maureen O’Connor.
EDNA O’BRIEN is a prolific novelist, short story writer and playwright. She has published 18 novels, eight short story collections, six plays and six non-fiction pieces, which includes two biographies: James Joyce (1999) and Byron in Love (2009); and her memoir Country Girl (2012). In a literary career spanning over six decades since the publication of her ground-breaking debut novel, The Country Girls (1960), she has not only established herself as the leading figure in Irish writing today, but she has also acquired a formidable international literary reputation. In addition to numerous awards for individual works, such as The European Prize for Literature for House of Splendid Isolation (1995) and The Frank O’Connor Short Story Award for Saints and Sinners (2011), Edna has also received several prestigious lifetime achievement awards. These include The Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), The American Medal of Honour for Literature from the National Art Club (2002), The Ulysses Medal (2006), The Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), her appointment as a Saoithe of Aosdána, Ireland’s highest literary award (2015), an honorary Dame of the Order of the British Empire (2028), The David Cohen Prize for Literature (2019), The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence (2020) and, most recently, her appointment as a Commander of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest honour for the arts.
Dr Maureen O’Connor: Maureen is a Lecturer in English at University College Cork. She has published widely in Irish Studies and is the author of The Female and the Species: The Animal in Irish Women’s Writing (2010); editor of Back to the Future of Irish Studies: Festschrift for Tadhg Foley (2010); co-editor, with Kathryn Laing and Sinéad Mooney, of Edna O’Brien: New Critical Perspectives (2006); with Lisa Colletta, of Wild Colonial Girl: Essays on Edna O’Brien (2006); and with Tadhg Foley, of Ireland and India: Colonies, Culture, and Empire (2006). Maureen’s book Edna O’Brien and the Art of Fiction was published earlier this year