Edna O'Brien was born in County Clare in 1930. Her first book, The Country Girls, published in 1960, was banned in Ireland for its frank portrayal of female sexuality. Today, her work enjoys enduring popularity and critical success, with O’Brien renowned for her skill as a novelist and the centring of women’s experiences in her work. She received the prestigious French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in May 2021. Other writers who have received this accolade include TS Eliot, Ray Bradbury and Seamus Heaney. Her recent novels, including Girl, published in 2019, are among her most highly praised, and at 90 years of age, Edna O’Brien continues to write. She is currently working on a play about James Joyce, ahead of the centenary of the publication of Ulysses in 2022.