The 2013 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature has been awarded to John Banville, novelist and playwright whose works include The Sea and The Book of Evidence. The ceremony took place on the 22nd February at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghire.
At the ceremony the presenter of the award, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, described the recipient as “a writer of innumerable gifts, of immense talent, of superb reputation in Ireland and abroad”. Accepting the award, Banville expressed pleasure at receiving recognition in his own country, adding: “PEN is a splendid organization…that has done great work” and describing his first experience of PEN while working in Eastern Europe in the early 1980s.
John Banville’s previous honours include the Booker Prize for his 2005 novel The Sea and the Franz Kafka prize in 2011. The Irish PEN award has been presented by Irish PEN since 1999; previous winners include Seamus Heaney and Edna O’Brien.
For more information see the Irish PEN website: http://www.irishpen.com/wordpress/