The Arts Council extends its warmest congratulations to writer Emma Donoghue on the news that she has been awarded the 2010 Booker Prize for her deeply moving and compelling novel, Room.
Following the announcement Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said, "Emma Donoghue is a passionate and gifted writer and it is tremendously gratifying to see her work acknowledged through this prestigious prize. In Room, her dedication to the craft of writing is on full display, and through the creation of an authentic and gripping narrative voice, she provides sharp insights into the nature of motherhood, childhood and the contemporary media. Most of all, though, Room is a heartbreaking and beautiful story, from an exceptional storyteller."
Ireland is renowned for its rich literary tradition and its dynamic contemporary writers and Dublin was recently designated a UNESCO City of Literature. International awards such as the Booker are further testament to Ireland’s standing as a centre of literary excellence. This is the fourth Booker Prize win for an Irish writer since Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in 1993. John Banville was awarded the Prize in 2005 for The Sea, and Anne Enright received the award in 2007 for The Gathering. Dublin novelist Paul Murray was also longlisted for this year’s prize for his remarkable novel, Skippy Dies.
Last year, Colum McCann won the National Book Award in the United States for his extraordinary novel, Let the Great World Spin, and Colm Tóibín received the Costa Novel of the Year Award for Brooklyn. Sebastian Barry won the Costa Novel of the Year in 2008 for The Secret Scripture. In poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin won the International Griffin Poetry Prize this year for her exquisite collection, The Sun-fish. Last week, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney was awarded the Forward Prize for his latest collection, The Human Chain.