The Blagger's Guide To...Anne Enright

'Do you realise there is sex on every page?'

*Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz will be launched this week at a small party in the home of her editor at Jonathan Cape. Her first novel since the Man Booker Prize-winning The Gathering, this Dublin-set work is "a memory of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing".

*In 2007, Enright became the fourth Irish writer to win the Booker (after Iris Murdoch, Roddy Doyle and John Banville), and the fifth consecutive winner to beat the bookies' odds. Not that she ever listened to the bookies. "They don't read," she said, "so how would they know?" Nonetheless, The Gathering was an unexpected victor. Before its appearance on the shortlist, it had sold fewer than 1,000 copies. At the end of February 2008, it had sold 250,000 copies, and been sold to 31 countries, including Bangladesh, Korea, and Macedonia. But this was the year that Katie Price's Crystal ("the sensational new novel by Jordan") sold more than all six shortlisted Man Booker novels put together.

*The Gathering received a mixed reception from the critics. One called it "pretentious" and "wearing" and said that it was obsessed with "the dirty-handkerchief side of life". Enright retorted: "I have to say, if there's any obsession with sex, it's on the critic's part". However, she has previously admitted that sex is important in her fiction. Of her second novel, she said: "When I wrote What Are You Like?, someone said disapprovingly to me, 'Do you realise there is sex on every page?' Well, good. I hope I'm not moral as a writer." This was not always the case. At school, in Canada, the 16-year-old Enright studied "La Belle Dame Sans Merci". "'She made moan,' said the teacher. 'Well, we know what that's about!' I was straight from convent school. Poetry and sex? I was outraged. I said: 'You've ruined Keats for me!'"

*Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, to civil servant parents, and educated in Dublin and Canada. She started writing fiction when she was given a typewriter for her 21st birthday, and studied on the prestigious creative writing course at the University of East Anglia, under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. But it was not until after a brief career in TV that she started writing in earnest. After working as an actor in the 1980s, she moved to the Irish channel RTE as a producer and director on the comedy show Nighthawks (on which Graham Norton made an early appearance). She left in 1994, after having a breakdown. "At the time, people said to me that I must be brave to leave," she says. "But I thought that a person would have to be much braver to stay. The place is an abattoir." She lives in County Wicklow with her husband Martin Murphy, an actor and director, and their two children.

*Before The Gathering, she had written three novels (The Wig My Father Wore, 1995; What Are You Like?, 2000; and The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch, 2002, which begins with the line: "Francisco Solano Lopez put his penis inside Eliza Lynch on a lovely spring day in Paris, in 1854"). Her non-fiction work, Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004) was written while she was doing exactly that. Her short fiction collections are The Portable Virgin (1991); Taking Pictures (2008) and Yesterday's Weather (2009).

*Her fans include Colm Tóibín and Angela Carter.

*She says: "'How do you know when something is finished?' I am sometimes asked...For novels I say: 'When I have a little cry.'"

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine