Anne Enright: ‘People that go around complaining they don’t win prizes … I always think of Trump and Georgia’

The author on missing out on the Booker long list and her new novel The Wren, The Wren.

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Following on from the success of her 2020 novel Actress, Anne Enright is back with her latest book The Wren, The Wren. It’s a multi-generational story, exploring family trauma and the love between mother and daughter, told through three members of the same family: Nell, Carmel and Phil.

The book, which was released last month, was expected to earn a nomination for this year’s Booker Prize, however it was not included in the long list.

Speaking about the omission on the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast, Enright who won the prize in 2007, explains had the book been nominated, the timing would have worked out well. “It would have given the book a bit of a boost,” she says.

However it’s not something the author is dwelling on: “People that go around complaining that they don’t win prizes, I always think of Trump and Georgia,” she laughs. “I say you didn’t win Georgia, you just didn’t have the votes on the day”.


As a former winner, Enright says the award is used as a platform to showcase new writing talent. “The list is more or less a discovery list… it’s such an opportunity to bring new voices into the public realm and that was the same impulse that brought my work to attention in 2007,” she says.

In this conversation, Enright also speaks to podcast presenter Róisín Ingle about her time as the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, her childhood in Dublin growing up the youngest of five and her “stormy” teenage years.

Listen back to the podcast in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times