Happy 90th Birthday Edna O’Brien!

Dec 15, 2020

‘To read her is to know love; of words, of literature and of life itself”

Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Eimear McBride, Colm Tóibín, Eilís Ní Dhuibhne and more pay tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest and most influential authors on her 90th birthday.

Read the full article in The Irish Times here:


O’Brien born in 1930, is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer. Philip Roth described her as “the most gifted woman now writing in English”, while a former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, cited her as “one of the great creative writers of her generation”.

O’Brien’s works often revolve around the inner feelings of women, and their problems in relating to men, and to society as a whole. Her first novel, The Country Girls (1960), is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II. The book was banned, burned and denounced from the pulpit.

O’Brien received the Irish PEN Award in 2001. Saints and Sinners won the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the world’s richest prize for a short story collection. Faber and Faber published her memoir, Country Girl, in 2012. In 2015, she was bestowed Saoi by the Aosdána.

O’Brien’s latest novel ‘Girl’ published in early 2020, was the Winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2020, longlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize 2020.