Saturday, November 14, 2015

Anne Enright

Anne Enright is an Irish author. Her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel is The Green Road. From the author's Q & A with Alex Clark at the Guardian:

In The Green Road, there’s a magnetic but also rather problematic mother - whose four children you follow to New York, Africa and over Ireland. Families are key to your work, aren’t they?

People say I write about the family all the time, but in fact I just put people into that shape, or use that shape to write about deeper truths. I was more interested in separation and connection, disconnection and love.

The story of leaving and returning - or not returning - that informs your novel runs through the history of Ireland…

Emigration has been a part of Irish life for hundreds of years, and my way into it was not through the nostalgia of the emigrants in London or Boston, because there’s quite a difficult relationship between the Irish person at home and the emigrant abroad; by the second or third generation, those emigrants turn Ireland into a certain kind of idea – which informs our own idea of Ireland, but also begins to kitschify it a little and sentimentalise it. All of that is difficult and above all else there’s an amount of shame swilling around all of that situation. The emigrants who left Ireland left because they were poor, and they left because there was nothing for them. The emigrants when I was growing up in the 80s, when I was a teenager, left not only because there weren’t any jobs, but because the moral atmosphere of the country was unbearably claustrophobic, and because in order to be themselves, they had to leave, in order to possess their own life. You had that feeling in the 80s that your life was elsewhere, that your real life was in New York or London, and not in this squabbling country that was always talking about goddamn contraception like it was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue