Maeve Binchy 1940-2012 was a previous recipient of the Irish PEN award for literature. She was a popular choice for the PEN Awardin 2007which coincided with the centenary of The United Arts Club, where Irish PEN meets regularly. As a memento of her life and times, we thought to link to the report on her award.
“Novelist Maeve Binchy proved a popular recipient for this year’s Irish Pen AT Cross Award for literature. Presented with the award at a sell-out dinner in the Royal St George Yacht Club on January 19th, she expressed delight at such recognition from her peers. She also promised that on her future visits to bookshops she will ensure that the books of all those present were face out in a prominent position – Booksellers be warned!
An appreciative audience agreed with Declan Kiberd, presenting the award, when he said that “most of [Maeve Binchy’s] stories are about the pangs of adjustment- of what happens to a society that was once God-fearing and traditional when it takes on the messy complexities of the secular,modern world,” adding that hers wasn’t a fake nostalgia for a lost world but “a brave sense that the new challenges are bracing and that good people will find in themselves the resources to meet them”. While never confining her material to Ireland, she has seen it as a test case for the modern world-and the wider world acclaimed her accordingly.”