Why I write

Anne Enright

Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering, Anne Enright, reflects on what drives her to write books, and reveals the questions she asks herself throughout the writing process

Every three or four years I find myself fooling with a book, and I realise how much my life has changed since the last time I fooled with a book: my circumstances, the way I love people and the people I love are all different. I have changed.

And as I sit there, I wonder, 'What is the question, now?' Because each book is an attempt to formulate a new question, and it is not until the book is finished that you can say what that question is.

For The Gathering, that question was about hurt, how it lodges in the body and fools the mind. The Green Road asked a question about compassion, I think, as did The Forgotten Waltz before it.

I am very interested in what might be called the circumference of the self; how we break through it to see and love other people.

This problem or question is constantly being rephrased as I grow and change, and this is why I continue to write – to discover what my life is asking me, now. 

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